DATE: February 27, 2020
CONTACT: Helen Dunn, Legislative and Public Affairs Officer
Sixth Annual WinterSongs Concert, This Saturday at 5 p.m., Raising Funds to Support Victims of Domestic Violence
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – The sixth annual WinterSongs concert, which raises money for the Shelter for Help in Emergency, will be held this Saturday, February 29, beginning at 5 p.m. in the Monticello High School auditorium.
The benefit concert brings together women’s choruses from 11 schools in Central Virginia for a stirring program that culminates with all vocalists on stage for the finale. Since its debut in 2015, WinterSongs has raised $20,000 to assist women in crisis in Charlottesville and Albemarle.
“The idea came as a response to violence against women in in our community,” said Craig Jennings, who established and directs the choral program at Burley Middle School. “It was during a time when there was deep unease and uncertainty in our community over incidents of violence against women, and our students wanted to do something to help. The idea for the concert was a natural one, and the Shelter was the ideal beneficiary,” he said.
Joining the Burley Bearettes this Saturday will be women’s choruses from Henley, Jouett, Sutherland and Walton middle schools as well as Albemarle, Charlottesville, Monticello, Orange County, and Western Albemarle high schools. The Women’s Chorus from Charlottesville Day School will also be joining on stage.
There is no admission charge for the concert, but tax-deductible donations to the Shelter for Help in Emergency are encouraged.
The Shelter’s mission is to end domestic violence in the community by “providing a safe, supportive, confidential and respectful environment” that empowers survivors of domestic violence. Each year it provides services to more than 400 adults and children.
Last year, the Shelter noted that the WinterSongs concert provided the equivalent of more than two months of shelter and safety for women in need.
The concert also coincides with Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Each year, 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner. The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence has established online resources to promote healthy dating practices and greater community involvement in prevention at https://nrcdv.org/.
Earlier on Saturday, the Shelter will conduct a series of workshops at Monticello High School for the participating vocalists on healthy relationships and how to reduce incidents of domestic violence.
For the program finale, all performers will join together on stage to sing a special arrangement by Jennings of Scars to Your Beautiful, a multi-platinum 2015 recording by Alessia Cara. More information can be found at https://wintersongs.org/.