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Concert raises funds for refugees

Performer+at+the+Refuge+Benefit+Concert
Eric Burgasser
Performer at the Refuge Benefit Concert

Music was performed by many students and faculty to raise donations for refugees during the University’s Refuge Benefit Concert.

The concert took place on Nov. 2 in the Wooster Street Center. Many students and faculty from the University of the College of Musical Arts were brought together to provide music and entertainment in return for donations and school supplies for immigrant organizations.

The event opened with an excerpt reading of the poem “Home” by Warsan Shire, read by Katherine Meizel, Sidra Lawrence, Kara Attrep and Megan Rancier.

“Nobody leaves home unless home is the mouth of shark,” began the poem, ending on the last line, “but I know that anywhere is safer than here.”

“Can music change the world?” Event organizer Katherine Meizel questioned the audience, “lets see what a difference music can make.”

The event showcased student talent from classical music, rock and roll, the Afro-Caribbean Ensemble and vocals with piano.

“Ready, Set, Ravon” was the powerful piece performed before intermission, the instruments created by past University students and maintained by current ones.

“It comes from an online learning community, and the words that comes out of the drum sounds like how we speak the syllable,” said director of the performing group Allison Eckardt Merrill.

“It’s exhilarating to play with so many different great musicians for a cause thats much larger than ourselves,” said performer Declan Wicks.

Amanda Rich sang soprano as Adam O’Dell played his self-written song, “Sure on this Shining Night,” on the piano.

“It can be really easy to see all the bad in the world,” said O’Dell before starting his piece. “It’s good to remember that there are good people in the world, and we should go about remembering them.”

Over $350 in donations and multiple boxes of school supplies were collected at the event.

“We are hoping to bring some publicity to this issue, and it’s a great opportunity for music students to use their livelihood to make a difference, and I’m proud of them,” said Meizel.

All donations raised are being given to UNICEF and Us Together, a state-wide organization dedicated to coordinate, organize and initiate services to immigrants and refugees.

“We are a state-wide organization and we serve refugees all over the world,” said Nadia Kasvin, founder of Us Together, “founded by former refugees, we ourselves experience what it is like to start over and we are here to help others.”

The concert ended with many hoping that the donations raised will provide a better life and education to immigrants and refugees state-wide.

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