Toronto choir to per­form in Car­bon­ear

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION - BY BUR­TON K. JANES

A con­cert in aid of the home­less or­phaned chil­dren of Rwanda will take place at the Princess Sheila NaGeira Theatre in Car­bon­ear Thurs­day, June 30 at 7:30 p.m. It will fea­ture the Toronto Can­tata Cho­rus in a pre­sen­ta­tion of gospel and folk mu­sic.

The event has been in the works since ear­lier this year, when choir of­fi­cials con­tacted lo­cal sup­port­ers of the Chris­tian char­ity, Shel­ter Them.

A twin of Rwan­dan sis­ters who now make On­tario their home — Jo­ce­lyne Bu­toyi Alexan­dre and Josephine Burkuru-Mur­phy — founded the or­ga­ni­za­tion in 2006.

“Our mis­sion is to take the lost chil­dren of Rwanda from the streets and given them hope,” Bu­toyi Alexan­dre said in the May 3 edi­tion ofThe Com­pass.

David and Sherry Jenk­ins of West­ern Bay were moved by the girls’ in­spir­ing story in 2008 and de­cided to host an­nual fundrais­ers on be­half of Shel­ter Them.

They were pleas­antly sur­prised to be con­tacted by the Toronto choir in Fe­bru­ary.

“ They asked us if they could do a ben­e­fit con­cert for our or­ga­ni­za­tion,” David re­cently toldThe Com­pass. They also of­fered to “cover all their own ex­penses!” he added.

Aileen Lee, one of the choir’s founders, said, “Our mis­sion ... is to bring to­gether a mul­ti­cul­tural and mu­si­cally minded group of pro­fes­sion­als.”

That in­cludes giv­ing three con­certs yearly, one be­ing a “ ben­e­fit con­cert to a char­ity of our choice,” she added.

The choir has trav­elled as far afield as Asia to fundraise for the un­der­priv­i­leged. “Ev­ery­one (in the choir) is happy to do so,” she said.

Shel­ter Them nat­u­rally fit into the choir’s man­date. “ Go­ing to New­found­land to fundraise for (Shel­ter Them) is just an ex­ten­sion of who we are,” Lee said.

Two of the choir mem­bers, si­b­lings Ja­son and Cather­ine Locke, are New­found­lan­ders. Their mother, Mar­garet Locke (nee Martin), is from Grates Cove, where their grand­par­ents, Roy and Milla Martin, still re­side. Mar­garet is a Sal­va­tion Army of­fi­cer who served for many years in the prov­ince but is now on the main­land.

The choir’s mu­sic di­rec­tor and con­duc­tor, Tak-Ng Lai, is a well-known mu­si­cian who has con­trib­uted much to Toronto’s mu­si­cal life.

Tick­ets for the ben­e­fit con­cert in Car­bon­ear cost $12 and are avail­able from Wayne Burke at 596-0957 or David Jenk­ins at 5982302, and also can be bought at Tri­con Phar­macy in Old Per­li­can and the Pre­scrip­tion Cen­tre in West­ern Bay. Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion about Shel­ter Them is avail­able at www.shel­terthem.com.

“ We are ea­gerly await­ing to par­tic­i­pate in the won­der­ful work you are do­ing there,” Lee said.

The red and white flag fea­tur­ing a styl­ized maple leaf was raised for the first time over Par­lia­ment Hill in Ot­tawa, in 1965.

Photo by Bur­ton K. Janes/the Com­pass

The Toronto Can­tata Cho­rus will be hold­ing a ben­e­fit con­cert in aid of the home­less or­phaned chil­dren of Rwanda at the Princess Sheila NaGeira Theatre in Car­bon­ear June 30 at 7:30 p.m.

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