Garden Choir to present Unity Concert in partnership with Matthew's Hope
The Garden Choir is partnering with Matthew’s Hope this weekend to perform its first Unity Concert.
| 1:34 p.m. February 23, 2016
Arts + Entertainment
Arts + Culture
Giving back to the community can come in many different forms. When the Garden Choir decided to give back to the community, the organization got a little creative.
The choir, a community group based in Winter Garden, decided to begin an annual concert where the main focus is to give back to the community by partnering with a local organization by way of a Unity Concert.
“We want to help highlight the organizations in Winter Garden and throughout the area,” said Quinn Roberts, the board chairman of the Garden Choir. “We can give them a little bit of a spotlight.”
For the first performance, the choir selected Matthew’s Hope, a Winter Garden-based homeless outreach, as a partner.
The organization already has an emphasis on people coming together, so it is a good fit for the Unity Concert, said Erik Segalini, media and communications director at Matthew’s Hope.
“We have this place with an office and a small staff, but really, it’s 50 to 100 volunteers from all over the community, 60 different churches, civic groups, businesses — all come together on a weekly, regular basis to make a difference,” Segalini said.
All proceeds from the evening will benefit Matthew’s Hope.
“We liked that they were right within the community and working for the people of Winter Garden,” Roberts said.
The Garden Choir began nine years ago under the direction of Dr. Jeffery Redding, also the choir director at West Orange High School. The choir is about 85 members strong and includes an even split of women and men from all throughout the West Orange community. They meet weekly in the choir room at West Orange High School.
The group covers a wide range of musical genres — from classical to spiritual to Broadway. Some pieces are simple, while others are challenging, said Roberts. Depending on the piece, the choir can sing up to eight parts at a time.
The singers are all unique in age and experience. Some are new to singing, while others are more seasoned.
“Dr. Redding is really able to pull it out of people and make you do things that you weren’t sure you could do,” Roberts said.
At the Unity Concert, the theme is “hope,” so songs will cover a variety of genres. The men’s a cappella group Sounds Like Chicken will perform alongside the Garden Choir, and representatives from Matthew’s Hope will share their mission and also give testimonies of how the organization has impacted them.
Ultimately, the mission of the concert is similar to the draw of singing — bringing people together.
“Singing is very therapeutic,” Roberts said. “It brings people together. People love to hear good music. If we can help to spread good music throughout Winter Garden and the surrounding areas … that’s a good thing.”