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Verses for Venice: Choir benefit Thursday
After singing in cathedrals throughout Germany, Austria, France, Belgium and Holland, the Yuma Youth Choir has landed its greatest engagement yet.
The determined little choir has a date with the Vatican this summer.
The Yuma Youth Choir has only been around for seven years, but the group is already preparing for its third performance tour of Europe. The choir plans to tour Italy this summer on a 10-day journey that will end with a performance during a Vatican mass at St. Peter's Basilica. The trip will take students to cities such as Florence, Venice, Rome, Pompeii and Naples.
But before they can go, the classical singers need to earn their way by working odd jobs and performing at benefit events like one planned for this Thursday.
"Visions of Venice," an evening featuring a concert and auction, is planned for Thursday at Anthony's Deli, 2100 S. 4th Ave. The doors open at 7 p.m., with the event starting at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $10 general admission or $15 for VIP. For more information call 503-7978.
The semi-formal event will feature hors d'oevres from Ciao Bella, an auction of art and fine jewelry, and performances by the youth choir and a jazz band called Midnight Clix.
"It's just going to be a really neat atmosphere," said Choir Director Beth Tibbs, Ph.D. "We hope everyone comes out and enjoys this special evening."
"Visions of Venice" is being organized for the choir by a local nonprofit organization called J.J. McCantik's Creative Arts. The group looks to support the local arts through performance benefits.
"We believe that right now, if Yuma needs anything, Yuma needs the arts," the group says on its Web site. "Art makes life beautiful. Art has a way of helping us escape hectic life. Art brings us together. Not only that, art can be used to raise funds for other local charity groups who are tirelessly trying to make Yuma a better place to live."
The first event staged by J.J. McCantik's benefited an artists' group in Kenya. The second event supported local art educators. For more information on the group go to JJMcCantiks.com.
Executive Director Melissa Coolidge said the Yuma Youth Choir appeared as an obvious choice for her group's next round of support.
"I have been blown away by the choir's talent and their passion," Coolidge said. "They are really an incredible and interesting group of young people."
The choir and the jazz band Midnight Clix will perform separately during "Visions of Venice," then join musical forces at the end of the evening. The groups will perform a musical number also called "Visions of Venice," a piece written by Coolidge.
Tibbs praised Coolidge's composition.
"It's really gorgeous and the harmonies are really lush," the choir director raved.
Tibbs also stressed her appreciation for the generosity of J.J. McCantik's. She added that the choir has enjoyed a great deal of such support from Yuma, whether during benefit performances or through the choir's program that finds odd jobs for students wanting to work their way to Italy.
"We are so humbled and honored that people buy into our vision. It's just exhilarating. There are so many groups that have been so generous and open with their support," Tibbs said.
The choir director added that while out-right donations are always welcome, she loves to see her students actively earn their chance to see Europe.
"The kids have been working every week and weekend to raise the funds and they still will have to provide some money out of their own pockets," she said. "We are just plugging away, trying to provide more opportunities for performances or work."
Darin Fenger can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6860.