The Lawrence University Conservatory of Music is once again teaming with Music for Food, a national program for local hunger relief, so area arts lovers can enjoy beautiful music and help the less fortunate in the community at the same time.

Music for Food Logo_2Lawrence is dedicating four upcoming concerts to benefit the Fox Valley’s St. Joseph Food Pantry. Audience members attending any of the November performances are encouraged to make a charitable donation — monetary or a nonperishable food item — to help combat hunger in the Fox Cities. All monetary donations are tax deductible, with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to St. Joseph Food Pantry.

In 2013, the first Music for Food initiative collected more than 600 pounds of food and more than $500 in donations.

“This is such a great opportunity for musicians to use their art to impact our community,” said Catherine Kautsky, professor of music and one of the program’s organizers. “I see it as a chance for us to educate ourselves about very real social issues in the Fox Cities as well as to make some small difference in addressing our community’s needs. I’m proud that Lawrence is part of this wonderful national organization.”

This year’s Music for Food concerts include:

• Saturday, Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m. — Jazz Celebration Weekend with percussionist Peter Erskine and featuring the Lawrence Jazz Ensemble & Lawrence Jazz faculty, Lawrence Memorial Chapel. 920-832-6749 for ticket information.

• Friday, Nov. 14, 8 p.m. — Lawrence University Choirs, featuring Concert Choir, Cantala women’s choir and Viking Choral under the co-direction of Stephen Sieck and Phillip Swan, Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Free.

• Sunday, Nov. 15, 8 p.m. — Lawrence Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, under the direction of conductor Matthew Arau, Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Free.

• Tuesday, Nov. 18, 8 p.m. — Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, under the director of conductor Andrew Mast, Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Free.

Music for Food was founded in 2010 by violist Kim Kashkashian in collaboration with the New England Conservatory. Concerts raise funds and awareness to combat hunger, empowering musicians who use their artistry to further social justice. Since its launch, Music for Food has provided more than 80,000 meals to those in need through concerts throughout the country.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.