Almost two weeks after a massive tsunami struck southern Asia, Yalies are eager to join in providing aid for victims and their families.
Students are collecting donations at residential college dining halls and planning fund-raising dinners and concerts, the first of which will take place tonight at 8 p.m. in Woolsey Hall.
The Yale School of Music has organized a special concert whose profits will go to the American Red Cross. The Yale Philharmonia, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra New England, the Yale Concert Band, the Yale Glee Club, the Yale Camerata, the Yale Schola Cantorum and members of the Yale Symphony Orchestra are all scheduled to perform. While the majority of the participating groups hail from the University, the School of Music has advertised heavily in the greater New Haven area via newspaper and other media advertisements.
Christine Lin, philharmonia and ensemble manager at the music school, said while the hours spent planning the event have been tiring, she expects it will be worth the effort.
“Of course it has been challenging to organize this concert in addition to covering our existing responsibilities at the beginning of a new semester,” Lin said. “But, in truth, the tremendous cause for this event is a moving force that really motivates us and transcends everything.”
She said the concert organizers hope to fill as many of Woolsey Hall’s 2,965 seats as possible. Though she would like to see New Haven residents at the event, she also hopes to see a strong contingent from Yale College in the audience.
“The undergraduate community is probably one of the most dedicated and integrated communities within Yale University,” Lin said. “Their support of this concert could really contribute to the success of the event, which is ultimately the success of the relief efforts.”
Meanwhile, the undergraduate community has been busy organizing its own fund-raising campaigns.
The American Red Cross and the Asian American Students Alliance have jointly planned a benefit concert and dinner to be held in Dwight Hall this Sunday. Restaurants in the New Haven area have donated the food that will be served at the event, and several musical groups will perform as well. Disaster Relief Effort Sri Lanka, a group formed over winter break, has teamed up with the Yale College Council to organize a benefit concert in Battell Chapel next Friday. The concert will mark the beginning of the YCC’s first annual Winter Arts Festival.
Avanti Verma ’08 will perform the bharatanatyam, a classical South Indian dance. She is among a number of performers scheduled to appear at the YCC concert, including several undergraduate a cappella groups and dance groups.
Verma said while she hopes to bring knowledge of Indian culture to the Yale community, helping the affected region’s victims was her primary impetus for choosing to participate in the event.
“It’s really hard to fathom that something like this could happen in such a short amount of time,” Verma said.