CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, choir students at Charlottesville High School were still able to share their musical talents with friends and families, virtually, through their winter concert earlier this month.
“Being involved in choir and making music, even though we can’t physically be together, really makes it feel like we have a sense of community,” choir member Niq Scott said. “We’re still together even if we are physically apart.”
Scott and other choir members are now using their musical talents to share that same sense of community beyond the classroom. The choir pledged to give funds from their virtual concert to The Haven, a year-round shelter in downtown Charlottesville.
“It just made me feel really warm inside. It got me really excited when Mr. Cooke told us it was going to be a fundraiser for The Haven. It just, it made me super excited and I’m very happy it got used for something productive instead of just being for savings, or going somewhere else. It was going to something meaningful and going to something in our community,” Scott said.
Half of the money from the concert, equating more than $2,000, will go directly to the multi-resource day-shelter. Community Engagement Coordinator Ocean Aiello said any help is needed, now more than ever.
“The reality is, folks who are experiencing homelessness outside of the COVID-19 pandemic are already incredibly vulnerable to a variety of health issues, and to have COVID-19 on top of if all is a huge fear,” Aiello said. “Not to mention people who are not even accessing the shelter but are calling in who are concerned that they will eventually become homeless because of the inability to pay back rent that many people are encountering right now.”
Choir students at CHS were overjoyed to know they were making a difference through their music. Their instructor, Will Cooke, said his main goal is teaching his students how to give back to their community.
“This is something that I hope is something that carries well beyond their four years in Charlottesville High School and choir with me, with each other, that it’s something we do throughout our lives to make our community, our world a better place to be,” Cooke said.
Once things are safe, the choir is planning on having a benefit concert on-site at The Haven, and giving all of its proceeds to the shelter.
More information on The Haven and how you can get involved can be found here. If you are in need of assistance, you can call the shelter at 434-973-1234.