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Turlock teen organizes concert for Haiti relief

POSTED March 3, 2010 5:02 p.m.
Local high school musicians are reaching out to help Haitian earthquake victims by holding a Young Musicians for Haiti concert on March 18. All proceeds from the benefit concert will go to the American Red Cross for disaster relief in Haiti.
Anne Thomas, a ninth grader at Connecting Waters Charter School and a Turlock resident, came up with the idea for the concert after she saw the impact that the Jan. 12 earthquake had on the people of Haiti. Thomas remembered a fundraising concert that she planned last year to pay for a school trip, and she thought that it would be a good way to raise funds for Haiti.
“It was really successful last time, so I talked it over with my dad. He was the one who really pushed me to go for it,” Thomas said.
Anne’s dad, Stephen Thomas, works in the music department at California State University, Stanislaus. Many of his university students tutor high school musicians, and he suggested a few of them for Anne’s concert. She also recruited talent from the Young Artists Concert at the Gallo Center.
So far, nine artists from the area have agreed to play at the benefit concert, including a few college students. Artists will play everything from the piano to the South American folk harp. The young talent will include Olivia Berumen (soprano), Tayler and Mallery Eppler (South American folk harps), Kate Matson (violin), Matry Matson (violin), Madeline Olson (grand pedal harp), Jeffrey Shen (piano), Anne Thomas (cello), Hannah Prendez (flute) and the Turlock Youth Performing Arts troupe.
Anne Thomas hopes to raise $5,000 for the relief efforts in Haiti. She is asking for $15 donations for tickets. The concert will be held at Snider Recital Hall at CSU Stanislaus, which holds up to 300 people. Thomas is optimistic that the concert will sell out. She has already received a donation from a family friend, and sold a few tickets.
All proceeds will be given to the Stanislaus County American Red Cross, which will in turn give the money to Haiti Relief efforts through the International Red Cross. All donations are tax deductible. A Red Cross representative will be at the concert giving receipts for donations.
“I think it’s a really great way to help Haiti, and it’s an opportunity to hear really amazing local young musicians,” Thomas said.
Young Musicians for Haiti will be held at 7:30 p.m. on March 18 at Snider Recital Hall. Tickets are available for pre-sale from the artists, or at the door. For more information, call Anne at 634-8264.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail agoodwin@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.

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