Sound of music attracts aid for flood victims

Having had first-hand experience with flooding, Indiana University graduate student Monique Mead of the Bloomington 1st Ward, Bloomington Indiana Stake, wasn't willing to sit tight while people in the midwestern United States were under water this summer.

She was growing up in Bountiful, Utah, when that area was hit by flooding in 1983. She helped with sandbagging and other chores.She couldn't provide such direct service to the Midwest flood victims, but quickly came upon a plan to turn her musical talent into flood relief: "Music Aid Benefit Concert."

Giving herself just two weeks to pull the Aug. 1 concert together, she called upon her school for help. Students and faculty members in the Indiana University music department agreed to perform and the university donated services including use of its Recital Hall, which seats 400.

About 275 patrons attended the concert. Their contributions, combined with those from area sponsors and donations directly to the Music Aid Fund, have so far totaled $4,200.

Families devastated by flooding in the St. Louis area are being identified and will be receiving checks accompanied by cassette copies of the recital tape.

"After the check is spent, they still have the music to soothe their souls," Sister Mead said.

She wasn't the only member of the Church involved in the project. Moira McIntyre performed on the violin and also helped with organization. Roy Samuelson, a former Utahn who is now an IU music professor and former bishop of the Bloomington 1st Ward, sang the timely "Old Man River" about the Mississippi River, from the musical "Showboat." Members of the Church also served as ushers.

The LDS Institute adjacent to the university was used for a post-concert reception, and members of the Bloomington 1st Ward provided refreshments.

"The support was just tremendous," Sister Mead said. "It showed me how compassionate people are. When they are given an opportunity to help, they react."

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