Concert at UNE to raise money for needy Nepalese girls

Published 03 September 2010

violinA public concert at UNE by senior music students from Armidale high schools next Tuesday will raise funds for the education of girls from poor families in Nepal.

Eight Year 12 students preparing for Higher School Certificate examinations in music performance later this year will present the hour-long concert, beginning at 1 pm, in the University of New England’s Lazenby Hall.

Entry to the concert will be by donation, and the money raised will go to the Madhav Ghimire Foundation in Nepal – an organisation dedicated to the education of academically talented girls from poverty-stricken families.

UNE’s Dr Terrence Hays, who has organised the concert in collaboration with the schools’ music teachers, said: “The students – and the schools – recognise that this is a worthwhile cause: to support other students less privileged than themselves.”

“Armidale is indeed privileged to have some of the finest school music programs in the State,” Dr Hays added.

The performers in next Tuesday’s concert will be Ben Sindel, Zac Grafton, Aiden Gallagher and Greta Schultz from Armidale High School; Matt Ryan and Ben Stanley from Duval High School; Georgie Ostenfield from New England Girls’ School; Olivia Pain and Emily Watson from PLC. They will be playing instruments including violin, recorder, trumpet, double bass, clarinet, cello and piano.

“These are all advanced musicians,” Dr Hays said, “and the concert will give them a chance to perform their HSC pieces in public.”

“The concert is an example of community engagement involving the University on many levels – not only with the schools and the local community, but also with international communities,” he said. “We’re hoping that it might become an annual event.”

Nepal is ranked as one of the 10 poorest nations in the world, and one of the worst for the provision of basic health care services. The worsening HIV epidemic is a leading cause of death, and young girls from rural areas sold into sex slavery are among its victims. The Madhav Ghimire Foundation aims to break such patterns by providing educational opportunities – as well as support, supervision, counselling and mentoring – for girls who are at greatest risk. “Our goal is nothing less than to grow the next generation of women health professionals, educators, and leaders in Nepal,” the Foundation says.

The Foundation was established by Jeffrey Kottler, an American psychologist, Kiran Regmi, a Nepalese obstetrician, and Digumber Piya, a community activist and philanthropist. Jeffrey Kottler, who is Professor of Counselling at California State University, Fullerton, is also a Visiting Professor in UNE’s School of Health.

Dr Hays encouraged the whole community to come along to Lazenby Hall at the University of New England from 1-2 PM on Tuesday and support the students and the foundation.