Playing for audiences is fulfilling. Performing music to help others is life changing.
Naomi Delafield, director of the Rosedale Valley Strings, has seen young musicians grow as artists and as people every time they put on a Music With a Mission concert to fundraise for global projects.
“It changes who they are and who they grow up to be,” said Delafield, who has seen youngsters go on to volunteer with non-profits, “empowered” by the idea of helping others.
“They learn they are even more capable of making a difference as kids than they are as adults,” Delafield added.
She believes, “Kids are less likely to give up. Kids are more likely to dream big. And the community is more likely to notice projects undertaken by kids than by adults.”
With that in mind, she hopes Central Alberta music lovers will turn out in droves to support the next collaborative Music With a Mission concert on Saturday, May 2.
Sixty-some musicians from the Rosedale Valley Strings and the Red Deer Youth and Community Orchestra will jointly perform a lively program of contemporary, classical and world compositions at the First Church of the Nazarene in Red Deer.
Three of the pieces will be guest directed by conductor Claude Lapalme of the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra. This is the second year that Lapalme is participating in the annual charity concert, and Delafield said his leadership and sense of humour are a big hit with the young musicians, who range in age from 7 to 18. (They will be accompanied by some adult players from the community orchestra.)
Admission to the concert is by donation. Bids will also be taken for a silent auction, and all proceeds will go towards building the Tulwap Early Childhood Development Centre near Kericho, Kenya. The project undertaken by Lacombe charity A Better World will include a two-classroom pre-school space for 90 children between ages three and six. These children are now learning outdoors, or under a corrugated tin shelter when it rains.
Louise Stuppard, director of the Red Deer Youth and Community Orchestra, said her teenage-to-adult orchestra is joining Rosedale Valley Strings musicians for the fourth year to perform Music With a Mission because it’s a fun and worthwhile endeavour.
“The kids see that they can do something to help other children. We have so much opportunity here, and this way our kids can help other kids who don’t have as much,” said Stuppard, who plays with Delafield in the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra.
The thrill of hearing the stirring sounds created by young musicians as one huge string orchestra is also an amazing rush for all the participants, as well as for audience members, she added.
“It’s very moving to see that many people playing together, and the purpose of it.”
The program will include nine pieces — including O Magnum Mysterium, African works, Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Tumblers, an Ernest Bloch Grosso Concerto prelude and Pink Panther theme — that will be played by either orchestra.
As well, three works will be jointly played by both orchestras, under the guest direction of Lapalme. These are: Reverie for String Orchestra, the first movement of the Palladio Concerto Grosso for String Orchestra and Down in Yon Forest.
The talent and skill level of the musicians is very high, said Stuppard, who believes the audience will be impressed and entertained by the varied program.
Delafield feels the young musicians love the experience of playing with their peers for a good cause. “It’s fun for them to join forces with other kids” — to benefit children from across the world.
Lapalme considers it a highlight to work with two groups “who embody ideals of excellence and generosity in a world where these values are most needed.”
Admission to the 7 p.m. concert at 2 McVicar St. is by “free will offering.” The two orchestras hope to raise $15,000 towards building the pre-school.