The eighth annual WinterSongs concert, which raises money for the Shelter for Help in Emergency, will be held this Saturday, February 26, beginning at 1 p.m. The concert will be performed live on stage in the Monticello High School auditorium and will be livestreamed, but closed to the public in order to protect from COVID-19.
The benefit concert brings together women’s choruses from four schools in Albemarle County and Charlottesville for a stirring program that culminates with all vocalists on stage for the finale. Since its debut in 2015, WinterSongs has raised more than $25,000 to assist women in crisis in Charlottesville and Albemarle.
“This performance gives our students the opportunity to engage with their community while helping the women who live in it,” said Craig Jennings, who directs the choral program at Burley Middle School. “It began at a time when there was tremendous concern over incidents of violence against women in Charlottesville, and our students felt driven to help. We wanted to use art to uplift and inform as well as raise money for the Shelter for Help in Emergency,” he said.
Joining the Burley Bearettes Treble Chorus this Saturday will be Albemarle High School’s Advanced Women’s Ensemble and No Fella A Cappella, Monticello High School’s Women’s Chorus, Charlottesville High School’s The Knightengales, and vocalists from Lakeside Middle School.
There is no admission charge to livestream the concert, but tax-deductible donations to the Shelter for Help in Emergency are encouraged.
The Shelter’s mission is to end domestic violence in the community by “providing a safe, supportive, confidential and respectful environment” that empowers survivors of domestic violence. Each year it provides services to more than 400 adults and children.
The concert also coincides with Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Each year, 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner. The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence has established online resources to promote healthy dating practices and greater community involvement in prevention at https://nrcdv.org/.
Earlier on Saturday, the Shelter will conduct a series of workshops for the participating vocalists at Monticello High School on healthy relationships and how to reduce incidents of domestic violence.
Alex Weathersby, the Prevention Services Coordinator at the Shelter for Help in Emergency, said of the event: “Having conversations like the ones we do at WinterSongs is a great opportunity to gauge what youth know about unhealthy and healthy relationships and local resources, as well as what they don’t know. And by coming together, teens dealing with violence know that they're not alone. Donations from events like these increase our capacity to meet survivors’ needs, so that everyone can live a life free of abuse.”
More information can be found at https://wintersongs.org/. Those who would like to watch the concert can do so by clicking on this link: http://streaming.k12albemarle.org/ACPS/acpsevents.htm.
CONTACT: Helen Dunn, Legislative and Public Affairs Officer