By CALEB CALHOUN
7:35 PM EST, February 9, 2013
Maria Edmonds, who has had literary works published in an anthology against domestic violence and Hedge Apple Literary Magazine, was preparing to recite two original poems for “An Evening of Music and Poetry,” put on Saturday night by students and staff at Hagerstown Community College’s Kepler Center.
“I think it’s important that people are able to express their feelings,” she said.
Edmonds, 34, was slated to recite a poem titled “The Stranger” over the piano and another poem titled “Store Birds Summer” over the guitar.
The fourth annual event, put on by the Robinwood Players Theater Club and the Art Club, included various poetry readings and classical compositions.
Tickets were $20, and the proceeds will go to REACH Caregivers in Hagerstown, club advisor Robin Shaner said.
“The theater students get to do what they love to do and help out people at the same time,” Shaner said.
In the past, proceeds have gone to Children in Need in Hagerstown, an HCC student who lost a home and for a statue in front of the Kepler Center.
“The fundraising is important because sometimes people don’t understand the severity of certain issues,” said Edmonds, who also is vice president of the Art Club and president of the English Club at HCC.
The event, held in the black box theater at Kepler Center, had tables set up with decorations from the Art Club and various pastries for attendees.
Jessica Seipler, 19, of Smithsburg, president of the Art Club, was the event’s master of ceremonies and talked about working with the Theater Club to put together the event.
“We really needed to partner with other clubs on campus, especially in the liberal arts, to show that together, we can make beautiful events like this happen,” she said.
Attendees who made donations could enter into a lottery for a necklace with pearls, bohemian glass and Swarovski crystals made by Robinwood Players Theater Club President Natalie Nebesnyuk, who is from Lviv in western Ukraine and performed “Prelude” by Ukrainian composer Oksana Herasymenko at the event.
“Here, we want to raise money to help warm people, and art can do the same to your heart,” said Nebesnyuk, 25. “I want to show people how different music can be and that culture is not boring.”
Sydney Tooley, 20, of Fairplay, is in her second year at HCC, and was scheduled to play background music on the harp and piano for some of the poets.
“It’s nice to be able to perform in this type of setting because it’s chill and I can play and relax,” she said. “This shows a level of sophistication, and it’s really cool to be able to do this in an educational setting.”
The first performance was given by Daniel Webber, an art, music and humanities instructor at HCC, who recited a poem by Henry Longfellow.
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