|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Making music all day for United Way
By Michael Christoff
Over the last few years, music and charity have been united more closely than ever. This sometimes takes the form of monumental events, such as Bob Geldoff's Band Aid, but occurs more frequently at the community level. And often it is performing musicians who are involved, at one level or another, in fund-raising activities.
Such has been the experience of faculty of music professor Brian McIntosh. A professional career in opera has found McIntosh becoming involved in gala functions for charity. "I realized that music was always involved in these things," relates McIntosh. This realization provided the germ of an idea about how musicians could be more directly integrated in the actual raising of money. "While fishing on vacation last summer, I got the idea that the musicians could perform and raise money by sponsorship."
The event, nicknamed a "performathon," is based on the model of a telethon, or bikeathon, where performers can be sponsored on a minute-by-minute basis. Since the event runs for 12 solid hours, it adds up to a lot of minutes and potentially, a lot of money for Western's United Way campaign.
Response at the faculty has been enthusiastic. "Everyone from first-year students to the Dean is getting involved," says McIntosh. The participants represent an uncommon concentration of musical talent, some of it among the best in the country. Performances will cover a wide range of styles from classical to jazz, to the Celtic music of Al Broughton's group. At 12:30 p.m., president Paul Davenport goes under the knife as he is shaved by operatic tenor Ted Baerg who will simultaneously sing a selection from The Barber of Seville.
The performathon takes place on Saturday at the Faculty of Music. The day-long event begins at 7 a.m., as dean of Music Jeffery Stokes kicks things off and festivities continue until 7 p.m.. All proceeds go to the United Way.