Kindred Red Night Choir Concert
On January 21, 2015, the singers of TAISM’s Kindred Chamber Choir came together to perform at the school’s 6th Annual Red Night concert. Red Night is a benefit concert that is both planned and performed by Kindred every year. Melanie Brink, TAISM’s Choral Director, says that the inspiration of Red Night was taken from a presentation “Socially Engaged Musicianship in Choral Music Connecting to the World Around Us” made by Ms. Doreen Rao, who spoke at a choral teacher’s conference. Rao’s presentation conveyed the message that music has even more power when those involved are socially engaged with more people than just the audience.
The theme for this year’s concert was “For the Children…Second Childhood”, formulated by Lauren Hovland, a veteran member of Kindred and a senior at TAISM. Lauren helped serve this year’s Red Night Concert as Student Director. The goal of the program was to make the children in the audience smile, to do something nice for them, and also try to bring out the child from within the adults and teenagers present. The conclusion of the concert involved children from first grade joining the high school singers on stage with the song “Together We Can Change the World”.
By performing at the concert, members of Kindred also hoped to portray the innocence of children. Despite the many problems our world faces, the innocence of children still survives through it all, and with that innocence comes hope for a better day. One of the group pieces that was performed was ‘Prayer of the Children”, a choral arrangement by Kurt Bestor. The piece was brought into existence as a representation of the loss of innocence within children during the Yugoslavian civil war in the 1990’s. Bestor stated that he was torn by the loss of a sense of community between his friends who all descended from various parts of Yugoslavia. The song has very powerful lyrics, and the words are embellished through the addition of rich musical qualities.
During the planning process, the group decided to donate proceeds to the Michelle and Julia Hoffman Home, founded in 2013 in memory of Michelle and Julia Hoffman. Located in Uganda, the home currently provides food, shelter, and education for 50 young orphans. The money raised from events like the Red Night Choir Concert supports them with items such as fresh beddings, mosquito nets, filters for drinking water, basic medical supplies, and sometimes entertainment like new soccer balls and games. The home also has a full-time nurse to make sure the kids have access to medical care whenever needed. Proceeds also go towards bigger projects like saving to drill a water well, or buying appliances like refrigerators or stoves. This year Kindred’s Red Night Concert raised over R.O. 750.
The concert also addressed the Charter of Compassion, and through children, Kindred aimed to celebrate the innocence and beauty of differences between children. The Charter celebrates the differences that we share as humans, whether the differences are religious, ethnic, ideological or social. As Nelson Mandela once said, “No one is born hating another person. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” This quote truly encompasses the power of children in our lives, as one of the few joys of life that everyone can share with one another and use as a reason to unite as one.
Ethan Brink, Grade 9 Student & Kindred Member