When the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra and the newVoices choir take to the stage at Lawrence University Chapel April 28, some of the audience members most informed about the John Rutter compositions “Requiem” and “The Gift of Life” they’ll be performing may also be among the youngest people there.
They will have had the benefit of a special workshop from newVoices and symphony members to learn about the music they will hear. They learned that a requiem is a musical piece dedicated to someone who has died and talked about things that have happened in their own lives that caused them to feel a sense of loss.
The goal of the series of workshops is to show how music that has stood the test of time can be a catalyst for discussion and an instrument of relevant communications.
The Basic Needs of Music workshops, held at five locations and directed at underserved youth, were supported by one of the first Bright Idea Fund grants awarded by the Community Foundation. The grant of $13,500 will pay workshop expenses over three years and pay for tickets to the concerts being studied for young people who otherwise probably would not have an opportunity to attend.
Workshops were presented at the Boys and Girls Clubs in Appleton, Wilson Middle School in Appleton, the Kaleidoscope Academy charter school in Appleton and YouthGo in Neenah, according to newVoices Executive Director Jason Henderson.
The collaboration between the choir and the symphony is part of the U.S. Venture Masterworks series and was funded by the U.S. Venture/Schmidt Family Foundation. This is the second of four years.