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There are ‘Angels amongst us’

By Marni Walsh

A benefit concert for Syrian refugees and the Indigenous community was held at St. Mark's Anglican Church in Orangeville on October 22nd. Organizer Ann Lay welcomed the audience and performers who were there to support the efforts of the Headwaters' Refugee Sponsorship Group saying, “The meaning of life is to discover our own gift and our role is to give it away.”

The concert which began at 4 pm on Sunday, included indigenous performers, musicians, and art, as well as book signings. The Angel Concerts first began four years ago and have helped to raise funds for Haitian and Syrian refugees, bringing two families of Iraqis to Canada, one family of Syrians, and one more family still to come from Aleppo. This year, the funds will be split to help both Syrian refugees and First Nations' communities.

Indigenous drummers and singers opened the concert led by Serge Gagnon, also known by his indigenous name Little Wolf. From the Metis Nation's Deer Clan, Mr. Gagnon is a mediator for the government and Indigenous peoples who works in negotiations across North America. The four performers, including his wife Sylvie Gagnon, greeted the audience with a welcoming song “God Ouach” and closed the concert with “Ya Ya Way” – the ancestor's song.

Other musical performers included area lawyer and soprano Nancy Claridge who sang three beautiful selections accompanied by her mother Pam Claridge on piano; David Tilley, an international doctor along with Barry Peters; the charming vocals of Melyssa Kerr singing “Angels Among Us”; Sue Smith, whose original songs and vocal sound brought shades of Carol King into the sanctuary; and a young man, Elias Maria, who travelled from Niagara to lend his beautiful voice to the fund raising efforts.

The second half of the concert was under the direction of the wonderful Mark DuBois and his Studio Singers who brought everything from Opera to Broadway to the sanctuary stage. A tender rendition of “What a Wonderful World,” beautifully sung by Mr. DuBois and his 15 year old son Christopher, brought the privileges some of us enjoy in this country into focus.

As the song says, it is “the angels among us who show us how to live and teach us to give.” The Orangeville Angel Concert brought three churches together for a common cause, gave performers a chance to share their gifts with an appreciative and eager audience, and gathered over $4000 towards a more “wonderful world” for others.

Post date: 2017-10-27 13:31:33
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Post modified date: 2017-10-27 13:31:33
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