Singing for a cause

Support the Torres Shelter by attending Chico Community Gospel Choir’s benefit concert

The author is director of the Chico Community Gospel Choir.

As a music teacher and choir director, I am constantly amazed and delighted by the sound of voices singing in harmony. I have had the pleasure of teaching thousands of Chico youth and adults the wonders of music making for over 30 years. I am lucky to do this kind of work.

Over the years, however, I have witnessed a lot of folks in our community, including children, who haven’t been as fortunate.

I’ve found that it’s easy to be thankful in a world where we see refugees at every corner. I call them refugees because so many are trying to escape violent situations, memories of war, and a world where they cannot sustain a home because of economic inequality.

The word “homeless” bothers me, when there are more vacant houses in America than there are families on the street. And homelessness has reached epidemic proportions, especially in our state and our community. I try to look away from the proverbial elephant in the room, but it doesn’t work because the elephant seems to be growing.

So, with the help of some of my friends, I have rallied 100 singers to perform a benefit concert on Oct. 1 at Neighborhood Church in Chico for the Torres Community Shelter. The concert will feature soloists, a dance team and a live band backing up the newly formed Chico Community Gospel Choir, which has turned out to be a group of wonderful, talented people from our town who share my feelings about the homeless crisis and are coming to rehearsals and practicing at home because they want to help.

With winter just around the bend, I’m hoping that there are others out there who will attend our concert and support the shelter and its clients. They need our help, so here’s an opportunity to see a great live concert featuring people from our community who, like you, care for those in need.

For more information about the concert, go to