Baylor, UT flute studios unite in support of hurricane relief

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

By Cassidy Pate | Reporter

The flute studio of the Baylor School of Music is uniting with that of the University of Texas at Austin for “Sounds of Solidarity: A Collaborative Benefit Recital for Hurricane Relief.”

This event will be at 4 p.m. Sunday in Seventh & James Baptist Church.

In an effort to inspire the audience and continue the support of those affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria through Direct Relief, a nonprofit organization with a focus on natural disasters, the studios have prepared selections of hope, power and meditation.

Dr. Charlotte Daniel, assistant professor of flute, said she and her former professor, Marianne Gedigian, professor of flute at the University of Texas at Austin, have brought their studios together to not only raise money, but to help.

Daniel said she and Gedigian took the time to sift through organizations but were inspired by Direct Relief’s mission—to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty and emergencies.

“It has the potential to be so powerful,” Daniel said. “To be able to support an amazing organization while we’re in the process, you know, we just really want to make a difference.”

The studios will be performing several pieces as one unit, in addition to separate performances by each studio. Because of the distance between the universities, their first rehearsal with both groups combined will be Sunday morning before the concert.

Daniel said each studio has been preparing for this event since the beginning of the fall semester, when the hurricanes hit. She added that one of the most time-consuming aspects was deciding which repertoire would best suit this occasion.

Powerful selections from Johann Sebastian Bach, Irish folk music by London Derriere, a slow movement from a Felix Mendelssohn symphony and a meditative raga, or genre of Indian classical music, will be included in the concert.

“We wanted to choose music that’s really beautiful and that’s also really varied … we also wanted to choose music that really inspires and heals and inspires hope and positivity,” Daniel said.

Daniel said whether or not people are able to donate, the purpose of this benefit concert is to come together as one and unify ourselves with community and beautiful music.

“Music can bring people together in a way that, in some ways, nothing else can,” Daniel said. “It touches everyone … in such a personal and powerful way where words can’t necessarily.”

Coppell sophomore Caleb Estrada Valentín was born in Puerto Rico and had family evacuated during Hurricane Maria.

“To me, it’s personal,” Estrada Valentín said.

Estrada Valentín said this concert would incorporate great and thoughtful music made with a lot of passion from dedicated musicians.

“Our studio is just so diverse and there are a lot of different representations in our studio, so it was great to hear that we can be a part of something that will benefit all the people who were suffering or trying to recover,” Estrada Valentín said.

In relation to Estrada Vlentín, League City sophomore Nicole Matthys said the other half of her hometown was affected by Hurricane Harvey. She said this concert is her and the studios’ means of using a love of the flute to fulfill a desire to help out.

“For me, it’s my way to help out everyone that I know back home who lost their house or is still trying to figure out how to make ends meet,” Matthys said. “I’ll do whatever I can.”

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