The North Tonawanda Food Pantry serves more families in 2013 than it did in 2012– 270 versus 180. With that in mind, local singer and music minister Zach Carr, a college student at UB, organized “Music for Meals,” a benefit concert for the food pantry. Over $1100 was donated to the cause, as well as more than 500 personal care items.
Carr held the event at Friedens United Church of Christ, located at 190 Vandervoort Street in North Tonawanda. He brought together a number of area choirs, singers, bands and musicians for “Music for Meals,” all of whom donated their time and energy to help raise money for the food pantry. The good news? The concert was so crowded that it was standing-room-only!
The evening opened with the female-fronted Revelation Band singing Hillsong’s “Mighty To Save” and Matt Redman’s “10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord).” Next up was Mark Weber, the Buffalo Crooner, energetically engaging the crowd with rousing renditions of “This Little Light of Mine” and “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands.”
Several area church choirs participated in “Music for Meals,” including St. Francis’ Catholic Church from Tonawanda, doing a stunning and memorable version of “Ave Maria,” and a moving inspirational song entitled “He Shall Reign.” The Friedens praise team sang Chris Tomlin’s “I Will Rise,” with Zach Carr handling the main lyrics and several women from the church providing soothingly beautiful back-up sounds.
Noted pianist Chris Glowacki joined Carr and guitarist Jonah Krull, who celebrated his 16th birthday at the event, for their contemporary Christian music rendition of Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Great Adventure” song. Krull then sang Steven Curtis Chapman’s “This Moment.”
Tonawanda’s 1st Presbyterian Church’s Choir followed Krull, singing “Let Music Fill This Place” and an especially touching version of “God’s Peace,” that sounded like the perfect marriage of classical, Celtic and Christian music coming together.
The audience was in awe when Jennifer Mysliwy sang Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Her powerful and dynamic voice “tore the roof off the church,” as Kathy Carr passionately accompanied her on piano. That song was transcendent, helping the audience get their minds off all the troubles in the world and be joyfully lost in the moment.
For the finish, members of Friedens, 1st Presbyterian and Grove Street Church’s choirs, along with Mysliwy, Weber and others, gathered together to sing the fitting “Who Will Help The Hungry?” and a hand-clapping, dynamic send-off song, “He Reigns,” lead by Zach Carr.
After the music finished, free refreshments were provided, including delicious baked goods, and attendees chatted with one another in the church’s vestibule (lobby).
People came from near and far to attend the benefit concert. There were students from UB, area church attendees, and people from the neighborhood who wanted to hear music and support the cause. Julie Winegarden from Kenmore United Methodist Church was there, along with JoAnn Lamantia, Terry Reilly, Jerry Lange, Ana Entress and others from The Chapel at CrossPoint in Getzville. Patricia Phillips, who lives in North Tonawanda, enjoyed herself immensely; she’s a fan of Zach Carr’s powerful singing voice and his charming demeanor. All in all, it was a night of music, fellowship, and purpose.
The monies raised by “Music for Meals” for the North Tonawanda Food Pantry will be earmarked for meat purchases, to help many families in North Tonawanda who rely on good protein to stay strong in these tough economic times.