The 10th Annual Jonathan Beech Memorial Concert will take place on Saturday, March 25, at 2 p.m. in the Kennett High School Auditorium. This annual community event presents a concert of beautiful choral music accompanied by a professional orchestra in memory of Jonathan Beech, a Kennett High School student who died of a brain tumor. Donations collected at the concert benefit various organizations that help families dealing with childhood cancer. This year’s concert will benefit Camp Sunshine, a special camp for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
The community chorus for the concert is made up of singers from area church and community choruses. They will perform Faure’s Requiem with the five movements that were first presented in 1888. The accompanying orchestra of local professional musicians will include many who are members of the Delaware Symphony and Kennett Symphony Orchestras. Additional works that have become a yearly tradition include Rutter’s “For the Beauty of the Earth,” and Handel’s glorious “Hallelujah” Chorus from Messiah. There will also be works performed by individual choirs. The concert is under the musical direction of Dr. Donna Beech, well-known area pianist, piano teacher as well as organist and music director at Lower Brandywine Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware.
Because 2017 marks a milestone for this community event, the concert will feature the world premiere of a new work, “Peace Will Always Be with You,” for children’s chorus, adult choir and string orchestra. This work was composed for the occasion by Michael Larkin, an internationally recognized composer and conductor. Dr. Larkin was an artist faculty voice teacher at the Music School of Delaware for 28 years and continues to serve as conductor and music director of the New Ark Chorale, the Brandywine Pops Orchestra, and St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Wilmington. He has over 300 choral, keyboard, and orchestral compositions in print.
Dr. Larkin says, “Of the many commissioned compositions I have been blessed to compose, none has been more important and more meaningful to me than composing this new composition that will be premiered at this year’s Jonathan Beech Memorial Concert. The words of Jonathan beautifully meld with the wonderful text from Philippians, and it was an honor, and a very meaningful experience to set them to music. Once I began work, the music just seemed to flow from my heart and mind as I set the text for adult chorus, children’s chorus, string orchestra and piano. I thank Donna and Marty Beech for the opportunity to be a part of this most worthy musical, artistic, spiritual, and charitable endeavor.”
Since its beginning in 2008, the Jonathan Beech Memorial Concerts have donated almost $90K to organizations that help children dealing with cancer and their families. Jonathan Beech Memorial Concert, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity and all contributions are tax deductible. See our website for more information.
Proceeds from this concert will go to Camp Sunshine in South Casco, Maine. The Beech family attended three camp sessions with Jonathan, and they have continued as program volunteers ever since. Camp Sunshine’s programs are specially designed to help families who are dealing with specific health issues. For instance, there are sessions for brain tumor, hematology, organ transplant, Diamond Blackfan anemia, Fanconi anemia, eye tumors, and general oncology weeks. Camp Sunshine programs are completely free to the families involved. For more information, see www.campsunshine.org.
Suggested contributions for the concert are $20 for adults and $10 for children, although contributions of any amount are appreciated. If you can’t attend the concert but would like to contribute, please mail your check to Jonathan Beech Memorial Concert, 474 Greenwood Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348.
Suggested contributions for the concert are $20 for adults and $10 for children
Jonathan Beech Memorial Concert
Over the Line
Chadds Ford,Greenville-Centreville,Hockessin,North Wilmington,Pike Creek,Kennett Square
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