Artists unite to help Japan relief effort

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts in partnership with the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music will host a benefit concert for The American Red Cross Japanese Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Effort on Saturday, June 25 at the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts, 2419 E. Kenwood Blvd beginning at 7:30 p.m. 
Julie Bamberger-Roubik, Suzuki department coordinator at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, came up with the idea for the benefit concert after realizing she couldn’t go to the area to help. "I fell in love with Japan when I was 11, and my father took me to go see Madame Butterfly," Bamberger-Roubik said. "I studied as an exhange student there and have been back many times since."
According to Bamberger-Roubik, none of her friends or family were injured during the disaster, but she still wanted to help in someway. 
"My first instinct was to go over there and help because I do speak the language," she said, "but it just wasn’t practical. I’d need additional training and from a time and cost standpoint I just couldn’t do it, but I needed to do something." 
Through her professional contacts, Bamberger-Roubik organized the benefit concert.  
All proceeds from the event will benefit The American Red Cross and its Japanese Earthquake/Tsunami relief efforts which help provide food, shelter and assistance to victims of the disaster.
Benefit concert performers will include:
  • Frank Almond, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster, presenting a violin solo with Stefanie Jacob, piano.
  • Jillian Bruss, Florentine Opera & Milwaukee Opera Theater, in collaboration with faculty from the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music
  • Fine Arts Quartet, UWM, Peck School of the Arts
  • Philomusica Quartet
  • Prometheus Trio
  • Caen Thomason-Redus, flute and Elena Abend, piano, UWM, Peck School of the Arts
  • Vocal Tapestry, UWM, Peck School of the Arts
  • Joseph Azbel and Ian Mueller, UWM Pre-College Program students of Elina Chekan, Associate Lecturer, Classical Guitar, Pre-College and Suzuki Guitar at the UWM Peck School of the Arts, will be providing entertainment in the lobby during intermission.
In addition, hundreds of origami cranes will decorate the lobby of Bader Hall in remembrance of the disaster victims. The paper cranes were created by Stormonth Elementary School in Fox Point to raise funds for the American Red Cross Earthquake, Tsunami relief efforts. For every crane made, the children at the school requested a $1 donation. They raised approximately $1600 for the cause. 

"I can’t really put it into words, but just to be able to help and to know that this (benefit concert) is going to make an impact is an incredible feeling," she said. "To see how big this has gotten so quickly and imaging the kind of revenue this is going to generate and the number of people this is going to help is just remarkable. It’s going to be a very emotional concert for me, (Japan) is like my second home and to see this many people coming together to help them really means a lot.  
Tickets for the event are $25 for adults, $15 for students with ID. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Peck School box office at 414-229-4308.  For more information visit www.mkeartistsforjapan.org.  

Photo by Brian Schupper                                                              

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