Third annual benefit concert returns this February
blog by The Canisius Griffin • January 30, 2012 @ 4:27pm
The simplest luxuries are often overlooked, especially at an academic institution where tuition is nearing $30,000 a year, but that can be quickly put in perspective if you consider that around the corner at the Hamlin Park School, where students only have pictures of instruments to look at.
Cases like this serve as the driving factor for the benefit concerts put on by the Arts Promotion Club at Canisius College. For the third year in a row, the club will host the Griffins Give Back Benefit Concert. This year’s concert is set for February 12 in the Montante Cultural Center, and will benefit the Hamlin Park School music program.
The Arts Promotion Club consists of a diverse group of talented Canisius students who are passionate about making music. Naturally, the concert will feature performances by these students. The concert will include everything from vocal solos to vocal and instrumental
The students involved feel that this benefit concert is a great opportunity for them to pay it forward, seeing as most of them are recipients of music scholarships.
“Sometimes music is the difference for students between success and failure, and I hope that every student in Buffalo has the opportunity to lead a successful life,” said benefit concert chair Jonathan Beck. “We want to play a role in that.”
Beck reflected back on his feelings of excitement when Arts Promotion Club’s advisor, Professor Jane Cary, first suggested a benefit concert. After extensive discussion about whom the concert should benefit, club members decided that they wanted to help their local community. The students came up with a cause, near and dear to all of them: suffering music programs.
The proceeds from the first concert were donated to Buffalo Public School’s East High School. Despite the fact that the school only has a choir right now, students there are already expressing an interest and passion for music, and helping them was a rewarding opportunity for Canisius students, especially since the concert raised twice the amount of money that the club anticipated.
The proceeds from last year’s concerts were donated to P.S. 45, a Buffalo Public School with a very diverse population. Much like the first concert, last year’s was a success, exceeding expectations and laying good groundwork for this year’s concert.
Arts Promotion Club took great initiative this year with planning the concert by teaming up with Canisius College’s school of education, especially with the help of Elizabeth Brandjes, director of the office of educational partnerships at Canisius. Brandjes helped the club decide to donate to Hamlin Park School, which is right around the corner from campus, making the personal connection even stronger.
The goal of these concerts continues to be raising money for great causes, making a difference and showing leadership in the community.
Beck stressed what matters most about these concerts.
“At the end of the day, the most important and rewarding elements of this concert are the lives of the school children whom we have hopefully given something extra to.”
Through hard work and dedication to a close personal cause, Arts Promotion Club members are showing that leaders are made at Canisius College, with a particular affinity for the Buffalo community.
“It’s not expensive, it will be about an hour long, and it’s an opportunity really to change the lives of some local students,” said Beck. “Everyone should come to it!”
By Morgan Culhane