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You can listen to Songs for Syria on Friday.

Erin MacLean-Berko is the Program Coordinator for General and Orchestral Programs for the MRU Conservatory and, before taking this position; she was moved by the global refugee crisis.  On a trip to Vienna, “my family and I volunteered at the refugee camps for two months to help people on their journey westward.  So, I saw first-hand the impact this was having.”

Musicians for Refugees YYC is a group of UCalgary music alumni who hopes to make the right kind of impact this Friday.  In a concert at the Rozsa Theatre, they will be joining forces with MRU Conservatory choirs Artio and Cum Vino Cantus to sing a welcome to our hometown’s newest Calgarians.

This particular event is a fundraiser for Syrian Support of Calgary, an organization whose aim is support.  MacLean-Berko notes that with a warehouse of donated goods, the hands-on group members aim, “to catch refugees before they fall into homelessness.”

Joining these groups onstage are the talents of renowned pianist Charles Foreman, the University String Quartet (under the direction of MRU Conservatory’s Edmond Agopian), local super-choirs Spritus and Luminous Voices directed by Tim Shantz, Double Treble, Calgary’s premiere womens’ ensemble and will be hosted by popular comic a cappella group, the Heebee-jeebees.  The variety in programming reflects the diversity being celebrated in the community.

“The mandate behind Musicians for Refugees YYC,” MacLean-Berko explains, “is that we’re musicians. We don’t have a lot of money, but we have talent and time to share. If we can do this, anyone can do it.”

The concert idea was so popular in the music community that MacLean-Berko says, “we had to turn some groups away.” This is moving concert organizers in the direction of planning a follow up for the cause.  “We’re hoping to do a concert series,” MacLean-Berko suggests.  With the outpouring of support already, we know there’s more MRU Conservatory talent waiting in the wings.

Songs for Syria is happening on Friday, January 15th, 2016 at 7:00pm at the Rozsa Centre. For tickets, click here.



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