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Concert Connects Campus And Community


Several choirs from the DeKalb community and Northern Illinois University will raise their voices to raise money for the nonprofit DeKalb County Community Gardens in the third annual "Make Our Garden Grow" concert Sunday in NIU’s Boutell Concert Hall.

Eric Johnson, director of Choral Activities at NIU, says he started the concerts with two visions in mind.

“One, to bring the community together. There are so many different ensembles that normally don’t appear on stage with NIU ensembles. That’s exciting to me," he said. "And second, to model for our students that music can be used and experienced in many different ways.”     

Like a benefit for a local nonprofit that helps people obtain fresh food.

The concert is a program of Broadway music arranged and directed by Johnson. It will include three NIU choirs, DeKalb High School performing ensembles, DeKalb Festival Chorus, and a performance by members of the Stagecoach Players.

Johnson says the concert is a way to draw the community in with attractive music and, at the same time, highlight the work of a local organization that helps make fresh food available to people in the community. It's also a chance to help.

“I think it’s the perfect nexus here, where we don’t just say there’s a need, but we have a solution.  We have lovely entertainment and an opportunity to be enriched spiritually through the music," he says, "and also learn about what’s happening with the DeKalb County Community Gardens these days.”

The concert is free. Donations for DeKalb County Community Gardens will be accepted at the door. There also will be a silent auction to supplement concert donations.

More details are available on the wnij.org events calendar page.

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