In an effort to help combat hunger in the Fox Cities during the upcoming holiday season, the Lawrence Conservatory of Music is dedicating three November concerts — Nov. 15, 17 and 21, all in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel — to benefit the St. Joseph Food Pantry. The concerts are being presented in partnership with Music for Food, a national program for local hunger relief.
Audience members are encouraged to make a charitable donation — monetary or a non-perishable food item. All monetary donations are tax deductible, with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to St. Joseph Food Pantry.
“Musicians often seem to exist in a bit of an ivory tower. It’s such a pleasure to be working with an organization that is using music to help address some of the social ills in our own community,” said Lawrence Professor of Music Catherine Kautsky, one of the organizers behind the program.
Music for Food is a musician-led initiative 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 in Boston, New York, Sacramento as well as several other locations.
The Lawrence choirs open the Music for Food events Friday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. The concert includes Viking Chorale singing England’s praises with music by Handel, Britten and Craig Hella Johnson. Cantala women’s choir travels from the Republic of Georgia to Ireland (via Austria) with works of Taktakishvili, Schubert and Betinis. The Concert Choir performs music of masters old and new, including Monteverdi, Forrest and 2011 Lawrence graduate Alex Johnson.
Guest artists include the Lawrence Baroque Ensemble, 2000 Lawrence graduate Carrie Henneman Shaw, soprano and 2010-11 recipient of the McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians, 1987 Lawrence graduate Leila Ramagopal Pertl, harp, and Associate Professor of Music Matt Michelic, viola.
Other Music for Food events include the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, Sunday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. The concert will feature guest artists Rebecca Salzer, visiting assistant professor of dance, and 1989 Lawrence graduate Matt Turner, cello.
On Thursday, Nov. 21 at 8 p.m., the Lawrence Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band will be joined by the Improvisational Group of Lawrence University (IGLU) in an 8 p.m. concert featuring Andrew Boysen’s explosive “Frenzy,” Vittorio Giannini’s wind band classic Symphony No. 3 and American composer Libby Larsen’s 2005 work “Introduction to the Moon.”
In conjunction with the conservatory’s Dean’s Advisory Council, future Lawrence concerts will be designated Music for Food events in coming years.
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 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.