May 16. 2013 10:52PM

Bedford native keeps Boston close to her heart

Union Leader Correspondent

BEDFORD — Bedford High School graduate Mackenzie “Teddy” Robert was a long way from home when the bombs at the Boston Marathon ripped through the heart of the city she loves.

A student at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., Robert was saddened by the events, but she refused to feel helpless. The singer-songwriter, who’s majoring in entertainment industry studies, went to work organizing a benefit concert, enlisting other Nashville musicians she knows with ties to Boston.

“When I was watching the news, I just felt it was definitely something I should do,” Robert said. “We put it together in a week, and at the end of the night we raised $2,200.”

The money is being donated to One Fund Boston, which has raised more than $30 million for the bombing victims, many of whom lost limbs and are facing many months of therapy.

Like many native New Englanders living in other parts of the country, Robert was busy making calls, reaching out to relatives, checking on their situations in the hours after the explosions.

“It was definitely scary,” she said. “A lot of my cousins go to school in Boston, so I was calling them hoping they were all OK.”

Robert is a member of the first class to graduate from Bedford High School — the Class of 2010. As a musician, she focuses on writing and performing songs for pop, Christian and country audiences.

In addition to being a full-time student, Robert is working at a record company in Nashville and interning with a music stylist. She also works in the area of brand management and image consultation.

At the benefit concert, eight other Nashville area musicians performed, both individually and as an ensemble. For Robert, is was an experience that allowed her to do something for her fellow New Englanders while also putting to use the skills she’s learned as an entertainment industry studies student.

“I absolutely love Nashville. For someone who’s pursuing a career like the one I’m pursuing, Nashville’s the place to be” Robert said. “But I also feel so grateful for the friendships and opportunities and support I received from people back home. If it wasn’t for their support, I wouldn’t have experienced the success I’ve experienced so far. I just felt to put this concert on was an obligation of mine to give back.”