The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
Feb18Filed under: Central Kentucky Arts News, Classical Music, Current Affairs, Music, Opera, UK; Tagged as: Centenary United Methodist Church, Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra, Concert of Hope, Cynthia Lawrence, dagio for Strings, Elizabeth Dorsett, Everett McCorvey, Haiti, Harry Pickens, Jacob Yates, Kayoko Dan, Lafayette High School Choir, Mark R. Calkins, Northwest Haiti Christian Mission, Ryan Marsh, Samuel Barber, School for the Creative and Performing Arts, University of Kentucky Opera Theatre
Click play to hear a conversation with Concert of Hope organizer Jacob Yates.
UPDATE: Ben Sollee has been added to the lineup for this performance.
Jacob Yates found the sheer numbers of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti — at least 230,000 dead and 1 million homeless — staggering, and he wanted to do something.
“I started thinking of ways I could try to help, even though I’m a 17-year-old in high school,” said Jacob, a junior at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts at Lafayette High School. “I decided since music is pretty much what I do with my life, that’s the direction I needed to go. I decided on a benefit concert.”
Impresario is a new role for Jacob, a cellist, pianist and singer. But he made his initial move like a veteran producer: He secured a star.
“The first thing I did was go upstairs and e-mail Everett McCorvey,” Jacob said. “Even though there were no details, he agreed to do it. And once he agreed, we got the place, and we just went from there.”
McCorvey, director of the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre and one of Lexington’s most visible artists, said, “When he called me and explained what he wanted to do, I wanted to help. I am so impressed with this young man and his desire to make a difference.”
The Concert of Hope on Sunday night at Centenary United Methodist Church boasts a marquee lineup, including emcee Elizabeth Dorsett of WKYT (Channel 27); Louisville-based jazz pianist Harry Pickens; the Lafayette High School Choir, directed by Ryan Marsh; the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras strings, conducted by Kayoko Dan; and new UK voice professor and international opera star Cynthia Lawrence.
Like McCorvey, Lawrence feels a personal connection to the tragedy in Haiti.
She said she and her husband, Mark R. Calkins, a voice teacher at Berea College and Centre College, “know of friends who are still digging out in Haiti and feel a bit helpless here. … If a performance of mine can encourage people — even in hard times, here — to help, that will be the success.”
Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Versailles-based Northwest Haiti Christian Mission.
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich