Lee's ‘Classic Christmas’ concert to collect donations for Gatlinburg
In addition to the festive spirit of Lee’s 27th annual “A Classic Christmas” concert, the School of Music will be using the event as an outlet to collect monetary donations for those affected by the recent fires in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Assistant Professor of Choral Music Jonathan Rodgers said that Lee has a unique opportunity to be a blessing to the nearby community of Gatlinburg.
“It’s just something to give back,” Rodgers said. “There is a lot of devastation. Way more than I think a lot of people know.”
According to an Associated Press article, the blazes in Gatlinburg have killed 13 people and damaged at least 1,000 buildings. Those who evacuated are starting to travel back to see the extent of the damage to their homes and businesses.
In promoting the donation collection, the School of Music has created posts on social media, as well as sent emails out to students encouraging them to spread the word.
“We have been trying to get the word out as much as possible,” Rogers said. “Just getting word of mouth out there that we are doing this.”
The idea to raise funds came from William Green, dean of the school of music, who approached concert administrators with a proposal to collect an offering as a way to lend support to the devastated community.
After gaining traction with those involved in the event, the idea was then brought before President Conn, who fully supported the initiative.
There is also a contingency plan in place if people are not able to donate at the concert but still feel compelled to give, and Rodgers said that the university will collect donations throughout the week.
“If folks want to give and maybe don’t have something with them that night, they are certainly free to bring that to the university some point later this week.”
Rodgers said the tickets for “A Classic Christmas” are sold out and a waiting list is currently in place for those who still want to attend.
The concert will take place on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. in the Conn Center and will feature six music ensembles’ performances of some holiday favorites, according to a press release.