- February 20, 2019
The Orlando Choral Society will be performing with a purpose at its Unity Concert Saturday, Feb. 29, at West Orange High School.
Over the years, the annual Unity Concert by the Orlando Choral Society has functioned as a fundraiser for nonprofit organizations such as Wounded Officers Initiative and Matthew’s Hope.
All of the proceeds from the event will be going to Shepherd’s Hope — a faith-based organization with the mission of helping uninsured and underinsured people receive healthcare.
The nonprofit also “benefits the region’s business community and broader health care system by helping lower the cost of health insurance and unburdening an already strained health care system,” according to the Shepherd’s Hope website.
“Shepherd’s Hope has been giving so much for the community, it’s only fitting we also give to them,” said Jeffery Redding, the founder and artistic and executive director of the Orlando Choral Society.
Redding said the idea of the Winter Garden Choir lived in his mind all the way through his years as a student and his adulthood.
“Working with this choir is life-changing,” Redding said. “It’s great to serve the community in such a way.”
Redding also works as the director of choral activities at West Orange High School.
His students will be performing, along with students from Olympia High School.
“It’s going to be exciting, fun and entertaining,” Redding said. “The Garden Choir, Olympia High’s Bella Voce and Voci del Cuore will be performing, as well.”
Redding said the idea of the Unity Concert came from wanting to give back to the community through the arts.
“I enjoy every single moment of it,” Redding said. “I’m so happy to see it happen.”
While the concert doesn’t have a set theme, all the songs will be focused on aspects like courage, community, unity and love, Redding said.
Janet Christine Le, director of choral activities at Olympia High School, said a unique quality of this year’s Unity Concert is some arrangements written by Redding.
“This year’s concert will have a performance of tenor and bass voices by an all-men’s choir and an alto and soprano performance by an all-women’s choir,” Le said.
She added that most of the songs are about love and unity — that includes a song called “Lineage,” sung by an all-women ensemble.
“‘Lineage’ is about our grandmothers and how they raised us to be strong women,” Le said. “It’s powerful and exciting.”
“People can expect a variety of tone colors, styles, ages — high school combined with community,” she said. “I’m excited about the variety.”