Benefit concert helps orchestra affected by floods

When North Dakota's Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra asked for help after its music library and many of its instruments were lost in recent flooding, Jamie Baer Peterson of the Manhattan 2nd Ward, New York New York Stake, responded.

Sister Peterson is a former classmate at the University of Minnesota of the orchestra's conductor, Timm Rolek. She organized a benefit concert on May 17 in New York City involving top musicians, including many who are members of the Church. Sister Peterson herself is an accomplished soprano."When I received [Rolek's] letter I was saddened and immediately wrote him a check to assist with rebuilding the library and purchasing new instruments," she said. "But the thought that I could do more kept eating at me."

She woke up in the middle of the night one night with the idea of a benefit concert involving musicians who had attended the University of Minnesota as well as LDS musicians.

Sister Peterson said the event was a wonderful success, particularly in terms of the loved shared between performers and the audience. "There was a wonderful feeling of warmth and spirit of the cause, both from the performers and the audience," she said. "We raised more than $1,700 to directly benefit the orchestra.

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed