We all know that music can be transformative. One Winnipeg choir knows that better than most.
Call Choir is a community based choir which doesn't expect its members
to audition or be able to read music. And they're teaming up with an
inner city youth organization for a special benefit concert.
Spirit's Call Choir has grown from 11 members to 160 (Spirit's Call)
Program director Margaret Tobin is delighted to be singing this benefit
concert for Status4 because she says the two groups are a perfect match.
"Status4 encourages inner
city kids by giving them free opportunities for music and the arts and a
safe place to be and belong. Spirit's
Call Choir has a similar vision - welcoming everyone and supporting
each person to find confidence, harmony, meaning and community
She says working with Status4 has been an amazing experience. "The kids appeared to feel so free and comfortable. Gentil Misigaro, the
music teacher, is totally accepting and charismatic and beautiful
with the kids - as well as being a wonderful musician. The mothers who
brought their kids were comfortably settled on the donated leather
couches at the back - with a babe at the breast or keeping an eye on a
diapered toddler roaming around."
Status4 was founded by Kevin Gibson, a police officer of 25 years who was inspired to find a way to help kids make positive changes. "I've observed how children and young people are not only often the victim of life's many challenges, they are also the hope and solution for a better future for everyone," he says.
"In December of 2006, two fellow officers and friends of mine were shot on duty and nearly lost their lives to this tragic incident. As a longtime musician I called on my friends in the music community and organized a large benefit concert called Brothers-in-Arms to support the injured officers and also raise funds for several charities in their honour. It was that experience that inspired and propelled me for years to create what is now Status4."
Kerishia Sumner (Lynne Williams)
Kerishia Sumner has been with Status4 since it started."I forget about everything else and it gives me something to do," she says.
Gibson says the main goal of Status4 is to provide a place where kids can express themselves in an accepting environment.
all children are viewed as equal regardless of their individual
circumstance and we focus on improving their future and nurturing the
talents and dreams they already possess in their heart."
Hear Spirit's Call Choir and Status4 on Friday May 10, 7:30 p.m at Elmwood Highschool, 505 Chalmers Avenue. Tickets available at the door.