Concert for Haiti; Wednesday, January 20

Click HERE to see Fox 11 video of the story.

Students and faculty at Appleton’s Lawrence University are still trying to reach friends, colleagues and students at a now collapsed Haitian music school they’ve worked with closely for more than ten years.

The news is trickling in slowly. It’s been both good and bad. Some at the school have been saved, others are still trapped in the devastation.

“Wait, wait that looked like him,” student Carolyn Armstrong said pointing toward the computer in her Professor’s office.

For days now, the small room has been consumed with worry.

“There’s just always this feeling in your guy, you don’t know where this person is, you don’t know if they’re okay, when they’re going to contact you,” Armstrong said.

She left Haiti just three weeks ago, after traveling to the country with other Lawrence students and faculty to teach music. Now, as she looks at a report on the school she left behind, the shock is evident.

“It’s complete devastation, there’s still people trapped in the rubble, they’re still freeing people,” Music Professor Janet Anthony said.

Anthony has spent every summer since 1996 at the St. Trinity complex in Port au Prince. She says the convent there has collapsed, those inside were able to escape. But the trade-school is completely gone and an elementary school flattened. Then, there’s the music school.

“The accounts that people have told us are really, are really not good,” she said. “I mean it really just sandwiched on itself.”

Anthony doesn’t know if they’ll ever know how many victims were there, but they’ve made a list as the faculty and students frantically try to reach the Haitian people who’ve become friends.

“One of our students was freed literally just hours ago with a torch,” Anthony said.

Every rescue brings relief, though celebrations are short-lived.

“You look at the list and you realize that’s one person out of a hundred, it’s been, its been really hard,” Armstrong said.

The lines of communication are beginning to open, but those they reach say conditions haven’t improved.

“They don’t have water, they don’t have food and this is the third day,” Anthony said.

So, the University is planning a benefit concert for this Wednesday. Donations will go to the Red Cross and the music school they hope can one day rise again.

“They need it now, more than ever,” Armstrong said.

The “Concert for Haiti” will be held at the Lawrence University Chapel Wednesday, January 20, at 7:00pm. Donations will be accepted at the door.

Then on Thursday, FOX 11 will present a news special on the Concert for Haiti. It will be broadcast at 9:30pm Thursday.

More Information:

Scheduled performers include:

* A quartet of cellists who have all been to Haiti will perform a piece written by a 16-year-old Haitian student
* Harjinder Bedi and friends (pop style band)
* Renowned Improvisational cellist Matt Turner
* A Milwaukee choir will perform a Haitian piece of music

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