Voices for Relief – Philippine Benefit Concert

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First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia hosts two concerts for Philippine typhoon relief with artists and alumni from the Academy of Vocal Arts.

We've put together two concerts with two wonderful sets of artists...I hope that we can do something very special via the Red Cross for the people of the Philippines.

In response to the devastation caused in the Philippines by typhoon Haiyan, the First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia will host two concerts to raise money for Red Cross International. As news of suffering continues to stream in from the Philippines, Philadelphians wishing to help have an opportunity to contribute, and in return will hear beautiful music from promising stars and established artists in the world of opera.

First Presbyterian will present the benefit concerts at the church at 21st and Walnut Streets in collaboration with artists and alumni from the Academy of Vocal Arts. The concert dates are Saturday, November 30th and Saturday, December 14th, both at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $25. All proceeds and any additional donations will go to Red Cross International.

The inspiration for these concerts came from First Church member and AVA alumnus Jeffrey Halili, who is of Filipino heritage. “I couldn’t lay claim on my heritage and on my faith if I didn’t try to do what I could to help,” said Halili. “And what I can do is sing and reach out to my dearest friends who can sing as well. I’m very grateful that so many of my colleagues and teachers at AVA and my church family at 21st and Walnut are able to make these concerts happen. To be able to put together two concerts with two completely different and wonderful sets of artists and to perform in such a beautiful venue is a real gift. I hope that we can do something very special via the Red Cross for the people of the Philippines.”

The concert on Saturday, November 30th will feature AVA alumni and resident artists Cody Austin, Cynthia Cook, Marina Costa-Jackson, Dominick Chenes, Jesus Garcia, Jeffrey Halili, Michelle Johnson, Jessica Julin, Luis Ledesma, Jack LiVigni, Margaret Mezzacappa, Jeremy Milner, Cristina Nassif, Musa Ngqungwana, Jason Switzer, James Valenti, and John Viscardi, joined by pianists Ghena Meierson, Danielle Orlando, Richard Raub, Tim Ribchester, and Laura Ward.

The concert on Saturday, December 14th will feature AVA alumni and resident artists Zach Borichevsky, William Davenport, Eric Dubin, Jeffrey Halili, Jennifer Hsiung, Ryan Kuster, Jeremy Milner, Chloe Moore, John Packard, Diego Silva, Jason Switzer, Richard Troxell, Moses Yungbae Yang, and Corinne Winters, with pianists José Mélendez, Richard Raub, and Tim Ribchester.

The list of artists is subject to change.

Hospitality for the artists will be graciously provided by El Fuego Restaurant in Washington Square.

For more information or to reserve tickets, please visit http://www.fpcphila.org/voices-for-relief/, or call Voices for Relief at 267-687-1496.

About The First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia: The First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia at 21st and Walnut Streets was founded in 1698. First Presbyterian is a home to a diverse group of Christians from the greater Philadelphia region. The church is many voices but one people who seek to glorify God through worship, prayer, and theological inquiry, to live the love of Christ through service to others, and to provide a welcoming and nurturing presence in this urban community. The church is an active member of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Presbytery of Philadelphia and the Covenant Network.

About the Academy of Vocal Arts: Founded in 1934 and headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) is dedicated to giving voice to opera’s future. Regarded by many as the premier opera training school in the world, AVA provides four years of tuition-free training. It is dedicated exclusively to the study of voice. The student body is intentionally small and admission highly competitive. More than two hundred singers from across the globe audition each year for the fewer than eight spots available in each class. The program is limited to fewer than thirty total Resident Artists, who are immersed in a uniquely intensive and highly personalized program where they learn from world-renowned faculty. They receive training in voice, vocal repertoire, acting, stage combat, opera history, several languages, and each year are presented in three to four fully-staged opera productions accompanied by the professional AVA Opera Orchestra. They are cast in leading roles that they will in all likelihood continue to perform for the rest of their careers. No other opera training program in the world rivals AVA’s success in developing individual artists whose extraordinary voices inspire millions on international stages.

The First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia will donate all 100% from the concerts of 11/30 and 12/14/2013. This donation will support The International Red Cross. The American Red Cross name and emblem are used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, opinion or political position. The American Red Cross logo is a registered trademark owned by the American Red Cross. For more information, please visit http://www.redcross.org.

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