Edgeville Buzz

Interactive Concert To Celebrate Global Music While Raising Money For The Refugee Population In Greece

Sherrill In Lesvos, Greece

A new choir that is made up of a diverse group of singers whose differences are celebrated and valued, will hold a free concert on Saturday that will teach the audience international music while attempting to raise money for the refugee population in Lesvos, Greece.

Jennifer Sherrill, who is a musician, teacher and writer with a BA and MA in Vocal Performance, co-founded the Thousand Mile Choir just a few months ago with Onella Piyatilake who is a musician and teacher with a MA in Vocal Performance. Over the past couple years Sherill has also worked to bring music programs into refugee camps in Lesvos.

Through Sherrill’s work in with refugees there, she discovered so much music that was both incredibly powerful and moving. So while teaching music in Greece, she started collecting the songs in order to share them with her community back home in Chicago.

“The Thousand Mile Choir is very much my response to the divisiveness we are seeing in the environment today,” Sherrill explained. “I wanted a way to bring people together to create music that will help us feel a sense of home and community. It’s all about bringing people in and getting to know each other.”

The free Thousand Mile Choir concert on Jan. 18, 7 p.m. at St. Gregory the Great (5545 N. Paulina) will be a special sing-along in which the audience is taught music from around the world. The song choices represent the diversity of the choir and include Greek and Irish drinking songs, Farsi love songs, Bollywood melodies, American spirituals and more.

“I have always been drawn to music and anytime I hear something that is slightly unfamiliar I tend to go right towards it,” Sherrill added. “Greece has really thrown everything at me including Farsi music, music from Central Africa, Rebetiko from Greece and all these amazing styles. I felt like we could create a group here to share all those types of music that one may have not heard before.”

As for Saturday’s concert, Sherrill just wants people to leave feeling good. There will also be an opportunity for attendees to make donations to benefit music programs in the refugee camps of Lesvos, Greece.

If you are interested in joining the Thousand Mile Choir, go to their webpage for contact information.

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