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Freeport musician organizes benefit concert to raise music awareness

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Freeport musician organizes benefit concert to raise music awareness

FREEPORT — A young woman inspired by music is gathering fellow musicians from all over the country to perform a concert in Topsham to raise money for music education.

Adriana Lumbard of Freeport is a rising senior at the University of Southern Maine. She has been working for months to organize the Camerata Musica "Playing it Forward" benefit concert.

Lumbard is a biology major and chemistry minor at USM, but has played the violin for many years. She said when she found out a high school she attended as a senior was unable to create a music program due to funding difficulties, she started to think of a way to raise money for instruments.

"My goal is to put instruments into the hands of children whose talent would otherwise remain undiscovered. Music education programs often fall by the wayside when schools make budget cuts, a fact which greatly saddens me," she said. "I know it can be very expensive to supply children with instruments, and I want to help where I can."

Lumbard was home-schooled, and in 2006 attended a school in Argentina, the Instituto Juan Bautista Alberdi in the province of Misiones. She said the school wanted to start a music program, but couldn't afford instruments. Lumbard said she would like to create a lending library of instruments for schools, teachers and students to use.

"I want people to have an opportunity to enjoy music regardless of their monetary restrictions," she said. "The lending library for musical instruments would be a way to provide instruments to students and promote musical education in school. It's not about giving an instrument away, it's about making it available when needed."

Proceeds from the concert will fund the purchase of instruments for the school in Argentina. The first instruments purchased will be flutes, clarinets, violins and oboes, she said.

The nearly 60 performers will come from as far away as California. They include family friends, classmates from USM, music teachers and local musicians. They will perform well-known pieces by Mozart, Prokofiev, Vivaldi, Bach and Dvork and will be conducted by Shawn Cabey, a family friend and well-known musician.

"I am so blessed to know the people I know," Lumbard said. "Shawn is enthusiastic and people will become engaged because of the way he conducts. This concert will be a success because of the people involved."

David Gerrans, a resident of Brunswick, will perform in the concert. He has known Lumbard for about 18 years. They both share a love of music, he said, and he is looking forward to participating in the event.

"I am so excited to be a part of this concert," he said. "This is an amazing way to share music with others, and it will ultimately help more young people to enjoy music. This concert is about music and a mission."

When she was 11, Lumbard and a few friends made a music CD and sold it to raise money for an orphanage in Zimbabwe. Since then, she said, she has found joy in playing music for a cause.

"Music has really made an impact on my life," she said. "I personally don't know what my childhood would've been like if I hadn't grown up playing the violin."

She has played at her church, taught lessons, and performed with friends and family. She taught students in an orphanage in Romania when she was 15, and played for the students in Argentina during her senior year of high school.

"I hope we have a great turnout," she said. The concert hall seats 900.

The concert will be held at the Orion Center, 66 Republic Ave., Topsham, at 6 p.m. on July 11. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for children and will be available at the door.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net