By Chris Bavender
The mission of the Sound of Hope orchestra is simple: Reach out to communities to “bring more smiles and happiness to those who are in need of cheerful sound and joy,” said its director, Soong Ahn.
Sound of Hope will perform its winter concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 at Traders Point Church in Carmel. The show will benefit Sheltering Wings in Avon, which provides free shelter for women and children seeking refuge from abuse.
Sound of Hope is comprised of students ranging from fourth grade to college. The orchestra has approximately 50 members, and concerts typically feature 20 students.
“We started out four years ago with about 10 people, four of them being me, my wife and our two oldest kids,” said Ahn, a Carmel resident. “Most of our students come and join us from referral through our existing members, but we are open to anyone and we are always looking to increase in number. We don’t have auditions and we do have some spectacular talents but some beginners as well.
“We have all different types of instruments, such as violins, cellos, violas, flutes, clarinets, trombone, trumpet, and even harp.”
Ahn’s wife is Caroline Ahn, a music professor at Anderson University who teaches music composition and theory.
“She always wanted to use her talent for music to reach out to people around us sharing the joy of music,” Ahn said. “We decided that there is no greater joy than to bringing children and sharing their talent with people who can use uplifting of spirit.”
Sound of Hope rehearses once a month at the Ahn’s home and performs once a month at nursing homes and rehab centers.
“We play lots of memorable tunes for the patients, such as ‘Edelweiss,’ ‘You Raise Me Up,’ ‘Amazing Grace,’ and much more,” Ahn said. “Our performance usually lasts for about 45 minutes, then we mingle with patients with cookies that we bring afterward. We have some exceptional students who dedicate their weekends to come out and share their talents to brighten up faces of those who are in need.”
The student orchestra wants to raise at least $5,000 in donations for Sheltering Wings, plus collect other supplies such as twin comforters, high-efficiency laundry detergent, ice melt, copy paper and 55 gallon trash bags. Donation items can be dropped off the night of the concert.
Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door the night of the concert.