Compositions for a cause: Music for Humanity tuned for 27th year of giving

By: Carol Guild, Content Manager
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Music for Humanity
The audience is invited to a reception following the concert.
When: 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21
Where: Pioneer Methodist Church, 1338 Lincoln Way in Auburn
Cost: A donation basket will be passed around. Checks may be designated to any hunger-reducing charity.
Info: 530-885-4196 or 530-885-9009

For the 27th year, musicians will donate their talent and time for a good cause. Music for Humanity is an event that benefits the Auburn Interfaith Food Closet, meals for The Gathering Inn at Pioneer United Methodist Church, and the new Outreach Gold Country 10,000 Meals.
The idea came from Sue Dings, choir director for Pioneer United Methodist Church.
The church had always been focused on outreach, but this was a new concept.
“We just had so many musicians in our congregation,” Dings said. “My husband played cello, my daughter played keyboard and sang.”
The event, which began with classical selections, will feature seven vocal and instrumental groups from different genres.
After attending Music for Humanity a few times, Julia Riley suggested to Dings that they expand the musical genres.
“I play the flute,” Riley said. “I play ragtime and jazz.” Riley has been performing since the 80s, including performances at the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, now called the Sacramento Music Festival.
She has performed with the Raspberry Jam Band for several years.
“One of the things I’ve always like about Pioneer is they are so active in the community,” Riley said. “I don’t have a lot of money to give, but I can do things like this.”
The event will include the  Colla Voce Chamber Singers, directed by Janine Dexter; Blended Metal Saxophones, a seven member ensemble from the Nevada County Concert Band; The Heavy Metal Tuba Quartet; The chancel choir of Pioneer Methodist Church, directed by Sue Dings and accompanied by Ronna Moon; and the Raspberry Jam Band, with ragtime pianist and composer Tom Brier.
 “I’m around people who want to help others, so just the camaraderie, I’m around volunteers who think the same way about helping people,” Dings said. “I can’t really do much by myself. But by presenting music which everybody loves and people are willing to pay for, at least I’m doing something to help humanity.”
Reach Features Editor Carol Guild at