Music for Harvey Relief: Kingwood Chorale’s Calm After the Storm

by Hannah Garcia, Reporter

 

In response to Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath, the Kingwood Chorale from Lone Star College-Kingwood performed an evening concert on November 19, at Atascocita United Methodist Church that people were able to attend for free. Although the admission was at no cost, donations were still accepted for Harvey victims. In this concert, Kingwood Chorale performed songs and shared their stories to provide hope and healing for our community.

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“We were moved by everything. Members in the Chorale were affected and numerous of them are in hotels right now. The director, who was not flooded, felt that he needed to address the situation and he wanted to promote healing.” says Angie Spargur, Fine Arts Coordinator of Lone Star College-Kingwood, when speaking about what inspired this event. Nov. 19. Photo by Marcela Macias.

Although members in the Chorale were affected by Harvey, they believed that the best form of healing is uniting with others to perform uplifting music for free and gathering donations to help those in need of recovering.

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“So the entire organization of Kingwood Chorale and Kingwood Big Band decided to get together in a series of benefit concerts to help people who were affected by the storm through the Lake Houston area relief fund, which is sponsored by Insperity and administered by the Houston Area Assistance Ministries (HAAM) and the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce.” says Ed Rush, a member of the Lake Houston Musical Arts Society. Nov. 19. Photo by Marcela Macias.

Kingwood Chorale performed songs dedicated to helping people realize that there is always a “calm after the storm”. The time that we look forward in hope after tragedy. The music selection encouraged healing from Harvey’s devastating aftermath.

In between performances, they played videos that showed the damage in homes and our campus, including interviews of people and musicians from the choir who had tragic stories to tell in their experience with the hurricane.

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“It was devastating” said Steve Johnson, a musician that performed bass for Kingwood Chorale and shared his story on the videos. “We lost all of our furniture and appliances on the first floor, so the kitchen was ripped out. Luckily we had a little bit of an upstairs so we were rescued in the afternoon in a boat. We found out that they were in boats from Tomball. There was a man from Austin and a man from San Antonio, so they had come to help”. Nov. 19. Photo by Marcela Macias.

The event brought together a variety of people: musicians, LSC-Kingwood staff, people who want to help others get back on their feet, even someone who is a longtime fan of Kingwood Chorale.

“We’ve been sponsors and fans of Kingwood Chorale for years and we always attend their concerts, so of course we were going to be here for their first concert of the year.” said Susan Lunson, an audience member who attended the show. “We were very impressed with the fact that the Chorale was doing this benefit concert so we wanted to be a part of it.”

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Dr. Todd Miller gives last minute tips to the Kingwood Chorale before performing at the Atascocita United Methodist Church on Nov. 19. Photo by Marcela Macias.
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Kingwood Chorale from Lone Star College-Kingwood makes the Atascocita United Methodist Church full of people in unity through their music in response to Hurricane Harvey. Nov. 19. Photo by Marcela Macias.

“I think music speaks to the soul as well as the heart.” said Susan Lunson, when speaking about what it is about music that brings people together. “I think God gives us a very special something in our lives that allows us to respond to music the way we do. I think it’s a gift to be able to hear the music, feel it, and to have it in our lives.”

“Music is universal.” said Rush when speaking about what be believes is the reason that music brings people together. “It just reaches into you and different pieces affect people differently but it gets into your soul and can help you overcome adrenaline as it focuses on recharging you.”

Thoughts were also shared on how people felt about the unity and how everyone dealt with Harvey.

“We’re lucky to have what we have.” said Johnson. “We’re blessed with a lot of friends and the support from the community has been wonderful, including gracious invitations from people at church and friends to come stay with them as well as everything else. It’s been an outpouring of love from the community, friends, and the church.”

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“I think it’s been incredible.” said Dr. Miller, when speaking about his thoughts on how the community handled Hurricane Harvey. “Our president, Dr. Katherine Persson, and the entire administration have worked tirelessly. I am proud of our students who had to learn how to learn online and in some cases have been moved to other campuses. It’s been an exercise and a great life lesson. You just have to get up every day and work towards the end of the day the best that you can.” Nov. 19. Photo by Marcela Macias.

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