Share this article

print logo

Concert benefits young heart patients

For centuries, music has transcended beyond the ordinary. It has inspired people in incredible ways. Recently, it brought the Williamsville community together to benefit children with congenital heart disease.

The third annual Dream Big! Benefit Concert took place at the Williamsville Meeting House on May 29. The concert was sponsored by the Village of Williamsville Arts and Culture Committee.

The sound resonated throughout the walls of the historic Meeting House as local students performed for parents, grandparents and friends.

Lauren Etu, a member of the Arts and Culture committee, said the committee is “always looking to bring exciting programs to our village … we knew how fabulous these young musicians are and we’re happy to have them here.”

The concert was mainly chamber music, featuring violin, cello, piano and French horn.

Alexander Aylward, a junior at Boston College, provided his thoughts on the music and the stories behind the pieces.

In addition to the music, there also were poetry readings.

The profit from the concert went directly to the Dreams from the Heart Camp, a local charity that helps children with severe congenital heart disease enjoy a safe camping experience. At the camp, children are able to participate in activities under the supervision of cardiologists and nurses.

Violinist Teagan Faran, Williamsville East alumna and performance major at the University of Michigan, created this event two years ago. During high school, Faran was concertmaster of the New York State Conference All-State Orchestra and Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra, as well as assistant concertmaster for the National Association for Music Education All-National Orchestra.

“I just liked the idea of being able to bring people together with music and doing something good for somebody else with the talent that I have,” Faran said about organizing the concert.

The annual benefit concert has a promising future. Drew Cone, a cellist in the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra and sophomore at Williamsville East, co-organized the concert with Faran this year and plans to play a larger role in coming years.

“This year was a passing of the torch in a sense,” Drew said. “(Faran) was showing me the ropes … It’s been an honor and hopefully next year I can start to take more charge and do most of it.”

The concert was not only an opportunity for young musicians to use their talent to benefit other children, but an opportunity for the Williamsville community to come together.

“I think it’s a very good demonstration for the community of how a little effort on our individual parts can result in a really big benefit,” Faran said. “If everybody can come together and can enjoy being together, we can make the place we live in a little bit better.”

Sarina Divan is a sophomore at Williamsville East High School.