Berklee Concert for Haiti

By 
Mitzi Dorbu
February 22, 2010
A participant in the OAMEC program.
Photo provided by the organization

The effects of the January 12 catastrophe in Haiti still reverberate. Berklee College of Music reaches out to the country with the Berklee Concert for Haiti on February 23. Special guest musicians from Open Access to Music for Children (OAMEC), a Haitian community program from Youth and Family Enrichment Services, is part of this event that starts at 8:15 pm at the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston.
 
Proceeds from the concert will go to several organizations, including Mercy Corps. General admission tickets are $10 and are available at the Berklee Performance Center box office. For information, call 617 747-2261 or visit berkleebpc.com.
 
This will be an evening of outstanding performances ranging from reggae to old-school soul and folk rock. The lineup includes the Berklee Reggae Ensemble, directed by Matt Jenson; Pitch Slapped, Berklee’s only co-ed a cappella group; Women of the World, a group of women from Japan, Pakistan, Italy, Greece, and beyond; folk-rock artist Livingston Taylor, jazz/r&b vocalist Donna McElroy, and pianist George Russell, all Berklee faculty members; and a group representing Haiti’s neighbor the Dominican Republic, directed by Arturo Pena.

A highlight of the show comes from Open Access to Music for Children (OAMEC), which provides free music education to the children of 100 Haitian families and looks to extend these resources to children currently being relocated to Boston from Haiti. The organization will present the OAMEC Ensemble, a group of approximately 18 talented violinists from the organization. This group has been working with Berklee faculty member Ron Reid to bring a special Haitian flavor to the night, accompanied by a Berklee group. OAMEC representative Geralde Babeau will speak about the way this organization is helping the Haitian community and ways to contribute to that effort.

For more information on ways to help, please read a letter from Berklee president Roger H. Brown.