Classical concert can change lives

August 11, 2009

By Erin Kim

Kevin Lee, a senior at Issaquah High School, decided to conduct a special classical music concert in order to help the less fortunate.During the concert — A Classical Calling — student volunteers will play music by Mozart and other composers Mozart influenced and was influenced by, including Bach and Handel. The highlight of the concert is the volunteer orchestra and choir performing Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor.

Lee has played the violin for 11 years and is conducting the concert’s orchestra.

“I have a habit of bringing musicians together to individually mix their own interpretations and personalities into a unified vision of music,” he said.

After Lee was baptized into Catholicism two years ago, he heard Mozart’s 218-year-old piece, Requiem, in its original Mass setting at St. James Cathedral in Seattle.

“The music helped me to have a profoundly new religious experience,” Lee said.

The encounter gave him a vision to help those in need. Lee said community service builds compassion.

“I felt [this] summer was the appropriate time to realize such dreams,” he said.

In addition to Lee’s musical passion and religious calling, the story behind the composition of Mozart’s Requiem also helped to instill this classical dream.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart foretold his death while composing the Requiem in 1791.

“His meditation upon issues such as salvation, God’s love, and the sin of man has a whole new dimension because of Mozart’s own closeness to death and, as some interpret it to be, a final reconciliation,” Lee said.

Moreover, Mozart did not finish the piece. One of his students completed it for him. Thus, the piece combines two differing viewpoints — one of an elderly man near death and the other of a robust, young student.

The cost to attend A Classical Calling is one can of food per person or $5. The proceeds will go to St. Mary’s Food Bank.

The food bank is dedicated to fighting hunger by providing free, nutritious food to Seattle residents in need. St. Mary’s provides food for at least 4,500 people each week.

“Besides the fact that we’re fundraising, it’s an outreach and an influence to the community,” violinist Shannon Chen said.

If You Go

A Classical Calling concert

Aug 23, 7 p.m.

Covenant Presbyterian Church

22116 SE 51st Place

4Cost: one can of food or $5

4Proceeds go to St. Mary’s Food Bank

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