Concert to aid relief effort

Opera, flamenco and piano music will be used as never before as a group of University of Lethbridge students looks to help fund a Nicaraguan medical mission.

For the Love of Music, Friday, June 19 at 8 p.m. in Southminster United Church, is the brainchild of six U of L pre-medical students as they look to aid a Nicaraguan medical mission this summer, simultaneously recognizing the hard work of local not-for-profit organizations.
The group of Ryan Taylor, Ravi Seyed Mahmoud, Cole Leavitt, Munima Alam, Michael Shields, and Alix Blackshaw is traveling to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua with the Flying Doctors of Canada (FDOC), a charitable organization founded by U of L alumnus and former Lethbridge resident Dr. Benjamin Cavilla.
"The purpose of our trip is to help Nicaraguans in rural and remote areas who otherwise would not have access to primary healthcare," explains Ravi Seyed. "The group, part of the FDOC "Doctors of tomorrow" program, is boarding with local families and will provide basic health services and educational information to rural and remote communities, among other duties."
Additional volunteers and a U of L sociology undergraduate researcher will also accompany the group.

Friday's concert will help fund the mission. Half the proceeds from the event are being used to buy basic medical supplies such as antibiotics, while the remaining half supports the students' trip administration fee of $2,000 (this includes food, accommodations, and transportation while abroad).

While organizing the concert, the group developed a profound appreciation for the amount of work required to sustain the operations of charitable not-for-profit organizations. Tickets are being donated to local charitable not-for-profits as a gesture of thanks and recognition for the services these organizations provide. Recognizing the amount of work involved, one of group members chose to turn the experience into an applied study.

Performers featured on the program also have a strong connection with the University and include Jesse Plessis (music major) and Bente Hansen (music faculty) performing a grand piano duet, Nicole Higginson (BFA/B.Ed '06) and Jordana Kohn (BFA '97/B.Ed '09), singing and performing musical theatre, and flamenco guitarist Joshua R. Fritz (BFA '04).