Half of Estes' fee is donated to his foundation's scholarship fund. Knoxville Middle School Vocal Director Megan Phillips was the very first recipient of one of these scholarships.
Estes said he wanted to share the blessings he has received in life and find a way to give back to others who share his passion. When attending the University of Iowa, he worked hard, whether it was cleaning floors or other manual labor, to pay for his education. He's hoping he can help today's students with their finances so they will not have to work as hard.
Estes has also shared his gifts with college students. He is a former professor at Boston University and a current professor for Iowa State University and Wartburg College. Estes says he has resumed permanent residency in Iowa, giving up the job in Boston, at the behest of his wife. He keeps a home in Waverly, home of Wartburg.
His Knoxville concert will be diversified and will include performance of Broadway music, opera and spiritual songs. There will be something for everyone, Estes said, and the concert will close with a performance of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" with the high school choir.
"I hope they come out," Estes said of local residents to the concert. He has received standing ovations in every concert he has performed in Iowa, which has included all 99 counties.
"I look forward to coming to Knoxville," Estes said.
As of Thursday morning, Knoxville High School Choral Director Jackie Duffy reported that locally, there were fifteen $50 tickets; two $35 tickets; and seventy-five $25 tickets available. Online there were twenty-six $50 tickets, seventeen $35 tickets and sixty $25 tickets still available.
Estes, as he does with every high school performance, will share his story with, and take questions from the student body in an assembly on Dec. 2.