Musicians of Mercy has been performing themed benefit concerts for worthy causes and inspiring community members to action since 2010. Under the direction of Robin Fay Massie, the group is coming together on January 11th at 8:30 PM at An die Musik – 409 North Charles Street – Second Floor – in Baltimore, Maryland – in response to gun violence, prompted by the recent tragedy in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
Teresa: You have used your gift of music to raise awareness and funding for projects such as natural disasters and domestic violence.
Why are you holding this benefit concert on January 11th?
Robin: Prior to Christmas, we all wept as some of the youngest residents of Newtown, CT were laid to rest following one of our country’s deadliest school shootings. Our goal was to find a cause by which we could bring relief to the families affected. At the same time, we hope our concert will shine a spotlight on the broader issue of gun violence.
Proceeds from next week’s concert will go to the SANDY HOOK SCHOOL FUND of the United Way of Western, CT! United Way of Western Connecticut has partnered with Newtown Savings Bank, CT to set up this special fund. This fund will help provide much-needed services — counseling and more — to the community.
Why is Gun Control so important to you? What outcome would you like to see?
Gun control is a sticky topic with people on both sides of the fence. Still, one thing is certain: these tragedies must not become commonplace. We were all adversely affected by the news of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. As the mother of a kindergartener, I was sickened at the thought of losing my little one to such senseless violence! I remain idealistic. We can achieve peace in this society by opening the door to understanding: this means discussion of important topics. Legislation is not the only way. Acts of love and peace by everyday citizens are essential. I hope that our concert brings some comfort to the families. I also hope that our musical response will pay homage to victims and survivors.
Can you share a little about the show and performers?
This concert is titled Prelude to Peace: Our Musical Response to Gun Violence. We are honored to be joined by Jonathan Palevsky, Program Director of WBJC 91.5FM as our emcee. We will feature music by Baltimore composers Benny Russell and Dr. Judah Adashi.
Benny’s arrangement of “Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child” will be the opening selection, performed by the MOM Chamber Players. Judah’s compositions are beautifully reflective soundscapes for guitar and piano. Flautists Barbara Bowen, Mabel Zelle and Karen Jackson will perform a movement from Karl Jenkin’s The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace (2001). Additionally, our favorite MOMartists return to the stage: Jason Labrador, Rachel Winder Jazz Trio, Denee Barr, Macheest’e Malloy, Janice B., and QueenEarth. We will also be joined by Multi-Modal Visionary Healing Artist, poetess and vocalist Aileen Sabira!
For those who cannot attend, but would like to help, how can they donate or be a part of the solution?
We would LOVE to see people come out and enjoy some beautiful music! Hdowever, if you cannot attend, you can still help! Online donations can be made irectly to United Way. You can also make a $10 donation to the Sandy Hook School Fund by by texting NEWTOWN to 80888. Lastly, if you’d like to support MOM’s work in the community, you may mail us a check. Visit our website.
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