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College to host musical fundraising event

| Friday, February 1, 2019

Saint Mary’s is hosting a chamber music concert, Music for Food, to promote local music groups and support the Food Bank of Northern Indiana.

Music for Food is an event to raise money and awareness for food inequality throughout the United States while providing entertainment through concerts. The charity was founded by Kim Kashkashian, a Grammy-winning violinist, as a way to combine music and community service. 

Tanya Gabrielian is a renowned pianist who had previously performed in a Music for Food event before moving to Indiana. When she moved, she noticed that there was no Music for Food branch in Indiana.

“I decided to start one here,” Gabrielian said. “So, I’ve organized this event [and] reached out to the Food Bank of Northern Indiana to be our community partner.”

Gabrielian said she hopes that Music for Food will do more than raise money. She wants music in itself to be used to promote activism.

“I hope that [Music for Food] will bring people to the concert that have not yet had the opportunity to hear live music performed in this way,” she said. “The concert is donation-based so that if someone can’t pay the suggested donation, they are still welcome to attend.

“We are hoping not only to raise funds for the Food Bank of Northern Indiana but to make music accessible for all members of our community. Also, we are using music as a tool for activism, and I think this is a powerful force in social change.”

Gabrielian said she is excited to be involved in a collaboration between musicians from local colleges.

“I love performing, so every opportunity to do so gives me a great amount of joy. Also, it’s a great way to get local musicians involved,” Gabrelian said. “When I moved here in the fall, I realized how many local colleges there are and great musicians, but there wasn’t a huge amount of communication of camaraderie between them.

“This concert features musicians from Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s, IUSB, Bethel College and Andrews University, and the very nature of chamber music involves working together with your fellow musicians to create a cohesive performance. I think this can stand as a metaphor for many things that we are trying to accomplish.”

In addition to enjoying the performances, Gabrielian said she hopes attendees become aware of an ever-present issue of food inequality in the U.S.  

“Music, and in particular chamber music, can be something that lifts you up. But also, pairing this concert with the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, we are also addressing the issue of inequality in our nation,” Gabrelian said. “15.6 million households were food insecure [in 2016] — this is 1 in 8 individuals and 1 in 6 children.

“These numbers have been constant since 2015, which shows that this is an unresolved issue that is likely to worsen as public assistance to families in hardship diminishes. It’s easy to forget about these issues if you are not of the population that deals with it on a daily basis.”

For those who are passionate about music and fighting poverty, Gabrielian said there are ways for people to get involved in future events.

“Please invite your friends, get the word out, do your own bit to shed awareness of food insecurity in our community,” she said.

Music for Food will be held Friday, Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Moreau Center for the Arts.

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