It’s OK if you need to read this sentence twice: The Sinphonia Chamber Orchestra of Krakow, Poland, will perform Polish Christmas carols and other seasonal music free at 2 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Library Station.
A rare opportunity, for sure. The event is a gift, of sorts, and one that could benefit more lives beyond the lucky patrons who get to hear the eight-piece string ensemble.
The musicians and student writers from Missouri State University will perform to help support The Kitchen Inc., a homeless ministry in Springfield. Panera Bread will provide free holiday refreshments.
After the music, MSU students Gemma Bellhouse, Olivia Jones, Derrick King and Joseph Van Nostrand, with Lisa Hamaker, The Kitchen’s director of major gifts, will perform a series of brief, dramatic monologues, “Holiday Voices from The Kitchen.”
“The stories show that the holidays belong to the poor, too,” Hamaker says. “They teach us to appreciate life's greatest gifts: faith, family, health, home and, above all, hope.”
The readings are from a book, Recipes of Hope: Holiday Stories For and From The Kitchen, that 15 student writers and guest contributor and author David Harrison just published through Moon City Press. The students prepared the stories after volunteering at The Kitchen and interviewing clients and employees, says their MSU writing professor Jim Baumlin.
“Their stories balance the sad realities of poverty against the joys of holiday memories and people’s hopes for a better future,” Baumlin says. “This is a book worth reading at this time of year.”
After the performances, the students will autograph and sell the $4.95 book, a collaboration between MSU and local community groups including the Messiah Project, Inc., to benefit the Kitchen, Inc. The book will also be available at the Borders and MSU Bookstore.
The Library Station event is part of a project sponsored by the Messiah Project, Inc., a local non-profit arts organization whose ecumenical mission is to celebrate faith through the fine arts. At 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18, The Messiah Project will sponsor “A Holiday Prelude” at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts. It will include the Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra, readings from Recipes of Hope; the children’s opera, "Amahl and the Night Visitors;" "Handel's Messiah" by Springfield's Messiah Chorale; and several other groups.
For information on the Dec. 17 program, call The Library Station at 865-1340. For more on the Dec.18 performance, call Lindsey Robison at 883-5274.
Kathleen O’Dell is community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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