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St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
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Our benefit concert raised a total of $50,000 for earthquake relief in Nepal! Thanks to the many musicians who donated their time, other partners who assisted with costs, and to the 550 audience members who generously gave to Mennonite Central Committee’s earthquake relief project!
Kitchener – A benefit concert that brought together 100 musicians and 550 audience members has raised more than $25,000 for the Mennonite Central Committee’s Nepal earthquake relief effort.
The federal government has pledged to match donations by individuals, which means the concert will have generated $50,000 to help survivors of the earthquakes.
“We have been absolutely thrilled by the response of the community,” said Mark Vuorinen, artistic director of the Grand Philharmonic Choir, which organized the concert. “Its generosity in the face of such a difficult situation halfway around the world is so heartening!” Added Rick Cober Bauman, executive director of Mennonite Central Committee Ontario: ”It was moving to see the music community step up so generously and invite us all to share with our sisters and brothers in Nepal in their time of urgent need.” All musicians, including members of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony; organist Peter Nikiforuk; soloists Bethany Hörst, Jennifer Enns Modolo and Daniel Lichti; and singers from 11 local choirs donated their time for the concert.
The concert, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Kitchener, was free of charge but the audience members who filled the building were encouraged to donate to Mennonite Central Committee at the concert. Before the concert, Mennonite Central Committee showed a video interview with Leah and Luke Ressor Keller of Waterloo, who are in Nepal co-ordinating relief work. In addition, members of the local Nepalese community spoke and sang, while a video showed scenes of the aftermath of the two earthquakes that have ravaged the mountainous country. The concert, conducted by Vuorinen, included performances of Fauré’s “Requiem” and Bach’s Cantata 39, “Brich dem Hungrigen dein Brot” (Break your Bread for the Hungry).
In addition to the musical community partners, the Grand Philharmonic Choir gratefully acknowledges assistance from the Waterloo Region Record, Sherwood Systems, M&T Printing, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Conrad Grebel University College, and Mennonite Central Committee. These partners helped keep production costs to a minimum. Grand Philharmonic Choir singers and board members made donations to offset other costs.