Concert for Haiti raises funds for relief, long-term reconstruction

Alicia Bones

Hastened by the devastating
earthquake that hit Port-au-Prince,
Haiti Jan. 12, Lawrence University
musicians and other interested
philanthropists came together for
a Concert for Haiti at Lawrence
Memorial Chapel on Jan. 20.
The concert, featuring a variety
of musical acts, photographs, videos
and personal narratives about
the country, raised money for
long-term rebuilding initiatives for
Port-au-Prince’s Holy Trinity Music
School, as well as for the American
Red Cross.
Lawrence has longstanding
ties to the Holy Trinity Music
School. Cello professor Janet
Anthony began visiting the school
in 1996, offering her services in
conducting, music history and private
lessons to students.
Throughout the rest of the
decade, Anthony spurred more
than 40 Lawrence students and
faculty to spend time at the school,
performing similar duties and
improving their own pedagogical
skills.
Along with Anthony, two students,
seniors Carolyn Armstrong
and Lindsay Schwartz, were instrumental
in coordinating the benefit,
the planning for which began in
earnest last Thursday.
Musicians, including a quintet
from the Lawrence brass department,
the Milwaukee Lutheran High
School Select choir, and Madison’s
Robby Schiller of the Blueheels,
came to perform. The concert also
featured WLUK Fox 11 anchors
Tom Milbourn and Michelle Melby
as hosts.
In addition, the benefit featured
videos and photographs to
give concertgoers another perspective
on the country, before
and after the earthquake. Senior
Stephen Anunson spent three-anda-
half weeks in the country this
past winter, filming a documentary
about the music school with
Armstrong.
“When we got back [to the U.S.]
and the earthquake happened, we
were already in this immediately
connected position to the places
that were devastated. And we have
the most recent footage taken of
this music school,” Anunson said.
The death toll from the Jan. 12
earthquake is estimated at more
than 200,000 Haitians. Another
earthquake the morning of Jan.
20 – with a magnitude of 5.9 on
the Richter scale, smaller than the
earlier earthquake’s 7.0 – brought
down more buildings in the region.
Millions of Haitian refugees are
still in need of basic supplies and
medical care.
While immediate relief is desperately
needed, Anthony also
stressed the importance of longterm
restoration plans. She stated
a commitment to rebuilding the
music school, which she said was
“the most important music program
in the country.”
Before the destruction, the
school had five orchestras, three
bands, and a boy choir, Les Petits
Chanteurs, amongst other ensembles.Anthony read a recent e-mail
from the Rev. David Cesar, a
Catholic priest and director of
the Holy Trinity School, citing
his commitment to rebuilding
the school. In the letter, Cesar
said, “If we are alive, we believe
that God has a special mission
for us, and we are committed
to rebuilding the cathedral and
music school.”
Salle Ste Cecile, Haiti’s only
concert hall, was also completely
destroyed.
“There are many people
in Haiti that believe that these
music schools might save Haiti,”
said Anunson. “There’s a feeling
of hope that music inspires in
people.”
Another Haiti benefit concert
is planned for Feb. 6.
Contributions are still being
accepted for both the Holy
Trinity Music School Rebuilding
Fund and the American Red
Cross.
To contribute to the Holy
Trinity Music School Rebuilding
Fund, checks should be payable
to:
Community Foundation;
memo line: Haiti Music School
Rebuilding
Mail to:
Community Foundation for the
Fox Valley Region
4455 W. Lawrence St.
P.O. Box 563
Appleton, WI 54912
Or to donate online: http://
www.lawrence.edu/ or http://
www.cffoxvalley.org/donate/
To donate to the American
Red Cross, checks should be
payable to:
American Red Cross; memo
line: Haiti
Mail to:
American Red Cross
P.O. Box 37243
Washington D.C., 20013
Or to donate online: http://
www.redcross.org/

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