Nashville artists will perform a benefit concert for the Philippines Disaster Relief Fund

philippinesDance Theatre of Tennessee artistic director Christopher Mohnani grew up in the Philippines, so naturally he was concerned when he first heard about Typhoon Haiyan bearing down on the country.

cm-mom“The Philippines get hit by about 20 typhoons a year, so people are used to them,” says Mohnani, who was on the phone earlier this week from his studio in Donelson. “I spoke to my mother right before the storm hit and she said people were prepared. They had left coastal areas and moved to evacuation centers. But this storm was so big people weren’t safe anywhere.”

The massive typhoon slammed into the central part of the country on Nov. 8, killing over 5,000 people and flattening nearly a half million homes. Horrified at this destruction, Mohnani decided he had to do something.

“I didn’t have a $1 million to donate, but I knew a lot of people in Nashville’s arts community,” says Mohnani. “I decided to reach out to everyone I knew to see if they’d be willing to participate in a benefit concert. Everyone I spoke with said they wanted to help.”

To date, more than a dozen Nashville artists and arts groups have volunteered to perform in a benefit for the Philippines Disaster Relief Fund at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4 at Montgomery Bell Academy Theatre, 4001 Harding Rd.

Artists participating in the performance include talents from Tennessee Repertory Theatre, Circle Players, Street Theatre Company, Studio Tenn, Playing By Air, Nashville Ballet, Dance Theatre of Tennessee, Boiler Room Theatre, Actor’s Bridge Ensemble, Nashville Shakespeare Festival and Jenny Littleton of Doyle and Debbie.

Musical artists participating include Street Corner Symphony from the show The Sing-Off, the terrific a cappella group Schola Pacis and country artist Beth Nielsen Chapman. Additional artists are still being confirmed and finalized.

“All the artists in Nashville’s performing arts community are getting ready for their holiday shows, says Mohnani, whose annual DTT touring Nutcracker is making its first stop this weekend at the Springhouse Theatre in Smyrna. “I’m thrilled we could all find a day for a benefit concert.”

The suggested ticket price for the benefit is $20. For tickets and other information, click here.

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About John Pitcher

John Pitcher is the chief classical music, jazz and dance critic as well as co-founder of ArtsNash. He has been a classical music critic for the Washington Post, the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, National Public Radio’s Performance Today (NPR), and the Nashville Scene. His writings about music and the arts have also appeared in Symphony Magazine, American Record Guide and Stagebill Magazine, among other publications. Pitcher earned his master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he studied arts writing with Judith Crist and Phyllis Garland. His work has received the New York State Associated Press award for outstanding classical music criticism.


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