On Dec. 6, a fundraising concert will be held at Fairfield Theatre Company Stage One to benefit Harmony4kidz (www.harmony4kidz.org), a charity that enriches the lives of at-risk children via the power of music.
Performers will include acoustic guitarist/vocalist Irena Hart (Fairfield) and vocalist Victoria June (Monroe) who perform as The Untouchablzz; Glenn Behrle (Milford, who plays guitar, mandolin and banjo as well as sings harmony; John Jarvis (Milford), a bass guitarist; Jon Kelly (Stratford), a singer/songwriter and guitarist; Bubba Ericson (Naugatuck), a guitarist and vocalist and Chris Rockett (Milford), a singer/songwriter and guitarist.
Also performing are young artists: vocalist Alyson Dentz, 17 (Fairfield); pianist Naoimi Ulisse, 11 (Trumbull); and violinists Sophia McCaffrey, 11, and Charlotte, McCaffrey, 5, and their father, Gregg Piacentini on guitar (all of Naugatuck).
Doors open at 6 p.m. with a reception, followed by live music from 7:30- 10 p.m.
The cost of tickets is $22 online or at the door. All proceeds will be donated to the charity.
Harmony4kidz, founded by Hart in 2006, combines her two passions: a love of music and a desire to help at-risk children whose parents cannot afford voice, piano or guitar lessons.
“Music is a powerful way to get people involved in helping each other … helping those less fortunate is a wonderful way to give back,” says Hart. “This annual holiday concert has become a tradition at FTC and it is a very exciting fundraising opportunity for Harmony4kidz. Money raised at this concert will allow us to make a bigger impact in our community.”
Harmony4kidz offers music workshops for children ages 3-5 at Action for Bridgeport Community Development, Inc. (ABCD). The charity also provides individual vocal and piano lessons for children ages 6 to 18.
The charity was founded when, after meeting homeless children living in Union Square Park, in New York, Hart was inspired to write her song “Save The World.”
ABCD is a nonprofit agency founded as the anti-poverty agency for the Greater Bridgeport area in September of 1964 by the Office of Economic Opportunity. Working toward the eradication of the “paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty in this nation,” ABCD presently serves more than 35,000 individuals annually through its broad range of services in a six-town area covering Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford, and Trumbull.
From 2012 to 1214 Harmony4kidz provided services to teens living in a group home managed by Greater Bridgeport Area Prevention Program (GBAPP).
“Working with the GBAPP teens was very fruitful,” reports Hart. “These kids enjoyed art, pottery and jewelry-making workshops at The Studio in Sportsplex in Fairfield. Also, they took weekly music lessons.”
Hart describes how Harmony4kidz helped one teen, in particular. Eighteen-year-old Jessica Bisonette, of Bridgeport was the recipient of weekly saxophone lessons. In 2014, she performed at Harmony4kidz 8th annual Peace Concert with a saxophone that she now owns. “Jessica is a perfect example of what music can do for one young person,” says Hart.
The partnership with Harmony4kidz partnership was win-win, notes Rudy Feudo, executive director of GBAPP. "We work with some really talented kids, who don't have the resources to purchase their own instruments or have their music recorded professionally," he says. "Irena offered her time and expertise to work with these youths. She is committed to raising money that will impact their lives.”
To purchase tickets online, visit fairfieldtheatre.org/shows/stageone/harmony-4-kids
About Irena Hart
Irena Hart is a Ukrainian born acoustic guitarist, singer/songwriter, poet and activist. Combine the likes of Jewel, Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams, add a quirky personality, then apply a European perspective mixed with an American sense of humor…and you get Irena Hart. Hart delivers a powerful, folk-infused organic sound that captivates her audiences. Several of Hart's original songs have been featured on USA Network’s Burn Notice and CW's Fly Girls. For more information regarding Harmony4Kidz, visit harmony4kidz.org or call Irena Hart at 203-209-2779.