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Choir serves up fancy feast as fundraiser
The Yuma Youth Choir would like to serve a gourmet Italian dinner and fine wine to the people of Yuma, all while playing live classical music in the comfort of their own homes.
The group of students is planning a trip to Italy next summer. The dinners are a new fundraiser to raise the nearly $87,000 needed to make it possible.
"We will be singing at the Vatican during a Mass in St. Peter’s Cathedral," said choir director Beth Tibbs. "We will also sing in Florence and Venice and travel to Pompeii. Foreign travel is educational in every way - musically, culturally, historical - and it changes how the students view the world and gives them an opportunity to see things they have never seen before."
According to Tibbs, a dinner service for four people costs $150 per person, while a dinner service for six to eight costs $125 per person.
"For a set price we will come to your home and prepare the meal, and cook and clean up for four to eight people," Tibbs said.
About 25 choir members plan to make the trip to Italy at a cost of $3,500 each.
"It is worth it because everything like the airfare, entrance to museums, food, hotels, transportation and guided tours are included," Tibbs said. "Each student will need to pay for part of the trip on their own, but for some of them it is very difficult, so we want to supplement the cost by offering these gourmet dinners."
Tibbs said the dinners will be high-class events.
"We have a set menu, but it can be adapted to special needs and wants. It is an Italian dinner prepared by Chef Suzanne Dion."
Tibbs said Dion will pull out all the stops.
"It is a five-course meal with four different types of wine, which come from the Wine Cellar in Old Yuma. We’ll have a strolling violinist that walks around playing a violin."
The violinist is Robin Beauregard, a choir student who has been playing for eight years. "He studied at Interlochen, which is one of the most famous music academies in the world."
According to Tibbs, the special dinner can be scheduled at the buyer's convenience.
"This is very unique and is our own creation and I think people will be very pleased and will enjoy it as much as anything they have ever tasted in their life," she said. "They will not be disappointed."
For more information or to schedule a dinner, call 317-6019 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tibbs founded the Yuma Youth Choir as a way to offer a larger variety of musical opportunities to local students.
"It is a community nonprofit organization that was started in 2003 to serve students that wanted to have more opportunities for choral singing and other positive after-school activities," Tibbs said.
"We have about 50 members which are divided into three different groups, including a beginning choir, an advanced women's ensemble and a men's choir."
The group has been to Europe twice already and has performed in Germany and at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
"We sing a variety of pieces like classical music and standard choral music, but we also perform American spirituals, folk songs and foreign-language music, as well as a little rock ’n’ roll and jazz."