Williamsport Symphony Orchastra Food Drive A Success

Williamsport Symphony Orchestra

Williamsport Symphony Orchestra

National Food Drive Inspired by Upcoming Film The Soloist
Williamsport PA-On March 27th and 28th, The Williamsport Symphony Orchestra, American Rescue Workers and Giant Food Markets participated in Orchestras Feeding America, the first national food drive by America’s symphony orchestras. Nearly three barrels of food was donated by supporters.Highlighting the project was a free concert by the Williamsport Symphony Brass Quintet at Giant Market on the “golden strip’ on Saturday March 28th. Musicians Dave Bailey (trumpet), Eddie Severn (trumpet), Valerie Whyman (horn), Becky Ciabattari (trombone) and Bill Ciabattari (tuba) performed American standards, Broadway hits, classical pieces and horn arrangements of Elizabethan madrigals. Patrons listened while shopping and dropping off donated food.

Nationally, over 200 orchestras came together to combat hunger in their communities through Orchestras Feeding America. The project is organized by the League of American Orchestras (www.americanorchestras.org), which represents the nation’s professional, volunteer, and youth orchestras, and Feeding America’s network of over 200 food banks and 63,000 agencies. The drive was inspired by the true story of the upcoming film The Soloist, starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey, Jr.

A staff person from the WSO said, “We all are feeling the effects of this economic crisis, but we cannot let that stop us from helping our neighbors in greater need. Our orchestra’s music uplifts people, but with this project we can do more to support the community that has supported us for so long.”

The slogan for the food drive is “One in Eight.” According to project literature, one in eight Americans is at risk of hunger. According to the United State Department of Agriculture, there are 36 million people at risk of hunger in the U.S.; 12 million of them are children. In December 2008, Feeding America conducted a survey of 160 food banks nationwide – the results were troubling, with food banks reporting a 30 percent increase in demand for emergency food assistance, compared to one year ago.

The Soloist will be released by Paramount Pictures to theaters nationwide on April 24th.. The film is based on the true story of the relationship between Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez and Nathaniel Ayers, a gifted Juilliard-trained string player whose mental illness landed him among the homeless on the streets of Los Angeles. The relationship has expanded to include staff and musicians of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The Soloist, which also features the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is a testament to the redemptive power of music and a reminder of our connections to the most vulnerable among us.

For information go to http://www.williamsportsymphony.com.

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