Concert raises money for local kids and more |

Concert raises money for local kids and more

Sera Schools Music Programs of Summit County is hosting a benefit concert Sunday, called Music for Hope. It aims to raise money for local students to take music lessons through Sera, but it also helps women in Uganda.

Sera Schools teamed up with Light Gives Heat, a Colorado-based nonprofit, started in 2007 to help Africans empower themselves through sustainable economic development. The nonprofit employs more than 100 women of Suubi, who make paper beaded necklaces and handmade bag products, sold nationwide and online at

“LGH’s vision started when founders Dave and Morgan Hansow went to a small village in Jinja, Uganda to adopt their daughter Jade,” said John Fay of Sera Schools. “During the adoption process, the Morgans spent months with the women of Jinja as they awaited the finalization of their adoption. This is when they received the vision to start Light Gives Heat and the process to provide a tool for the women of Jinja as a means to provide for themselves and their families.”

Though Sunday’s concert is free, a donation of $15 will help support jobs in Uganda – and people who donate will receive one of the paper necklaces. Those donating $30 receive a necklace and a “Moving On” 20-minute trailer (“Moving On” is a documentary created by Light Gives Heat), whereas $50 donors receive those two items and a patchwork bag. All of the proceeds not going to help Africans will provide music scholarships for Summit County kids.

“For donors to see that they can not only make a difference in a child’s life in Summit County but have the added benefit of making a difference for a child’s life in Uganda, encourages us all that we can unite to be the change we want to see in the world,” said John Fay of Sera Schools.

Sera recently accepted applications for its Moody Scholarship; it received three applications and awarded a full-ride scholarship for private music lessons for the winter/spring semester. Sera offers eight scholarships in Eagle County and Fay said he foresees the needs in Summit County “being very similar.” Its goal is to use donated funds from the concert to allow students to enroll in semiprivate lessons.

Sera came into Summit County last July, based on its success in Eagle County. Fay said 90 percent of the school’s instructors have earned a graduate degree in music.

“All instructors are carefully selected and undergo training in order to effectively instruct students at a professional level,” he said, adding that Summit County Sera Schools area director Margaret Ozaki-Graves holds her degrees in vocal performances from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Lawrence University.

Sunday’s concert features Mirai Daiko, an all-female Japanese drum ensemble, which has performed worldwide for more than a decade.

“They are an exciting and dynamic performing ensemble,” Fay said. “They embody the empowerment of women through music, which seemed fitting for this event.”

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