Tuesday, July 23, 2024

A Concert for a Cause: Trinity Students Showcase Musical Talents in Benefit for Interfaith Shelter

An intimate and poignant performance by Trinity High School’s String Ensemble, Chamber Ensemble and Concert Choir on the evening of May 1 shined a spotlight on more than the students’ talents in music; it also turned a focus to the critical services provided by the Interfaith Shelter for Homeless Families.

With performances of pieces such as “Nesting Song,” “What a Wonderful World,” “How Great Thou Art” and “Crowded Table,” the concert centered on the subject of home, a theme selected by the students themselves.

“I’m a big believer that concerts need a purpose. I’ve always felt that we should be doing something good with our music and our performances,” said Caroline Jarret, Chair of Trinity’s Music Department.

When Lisa Peck, the program director of Catholic Charities’ Interfaith Shelter for Homeless Families, reached out to Trinity to inquire about planning a benefit concert for the program, she found a perfect match.

What’s more, Trinity students have been dedicated supporters of the shelter as part of the school’s House System. The system assigns students to one of four groups, or houses, through which they create bonds at the school, at home and in the community as they participate together in activities, spiritual ministry and service projects.

This school year, students in Trinity’s Loyola House partnered with the Interfaith Shelter as their service project. Their efforts have included collections of food and toiletries, as well as service projects and activities at the shelter. The May 1 concert, entitled “Find the Way Home,” was a celebration of their connection and efforts with the staff and clients there.

“Interfaith Shelter has a very long history with the students from Trinity High School,” Peck said. “Many students have come to the shelter and completed a variety of tasks such as organizing and cleaning. Loyola House students have been hosting board game events as well as preparing delicious dinners for our families.”

“It has been my dream for years to have someone do a benefit concert for the shelter. Music brings people together,” she told The Witness. “It is our hope that this will be the first of many concerts to benefit Interfaith Shelter.”

Free-will donations were collected during the concert, and the funds are still be tallied at this time. In addition to financial support, the event raised awareness about the program, which provides emergency shelter, food, clothing and referrals while keeping the family unit together until they find permanent housing.

“Music brings people together and has the power to unite and inspire us to act. In teaching, I often speak about what I call the ‘Choral Works of Mercy’ – using our musical abilities, which God has given us, for a greater good,” Jarret said.

“We can have a beautiful concert in a beautiful auditorium, and that can be wonderful in and of itself – but how much more good can we do and good can we bring to others if we do it with a purpose like our benefit for the shelter,” she said.

Learn more about the Interfaith Shelter and how you can support it by visiting this link or by contacting Christopher Meehan, Catholic Charities’ Development Director, at cmeehan@cchbg.org.

(Photos by Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness.)

By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness

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