Classics for a Cause concert is Friday at Asbury

Ten talented young musicians will present Classics for a Cause, a concert founded by local students three years ago to raise money for the Salisbury Wicomico Arts Council.

In 2013, students Kieran Murphy and Kaya Manizade collaborated to begin  a program that would give exposure to young, local musicians while raising money for The Instrument Barn.

The barn is a mission to collect used instruments from the community and donate them to students who want to learn how to play, but who can’t afford an instrument, explained Terese Hamilton, executive director of SWAC.

The concert and dessert reception will be Friday at 7 p.m. at Asbury United Methodist Church. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $8 for veterans and senior citizens and $5 for SWAC members and students. They are available at the door or call 410-543-2787. See

The concert was started by two young pianists, and now includes vocalists and performances on piano, violin and clarinet.

“These kids have been performing for awhile, so it’s not like a recital. It’s a very professional concert,” Hamilton said.

About  300 people are expected.

“The arts are so important,” Hamilton said.

“They are really exciting because one of main things about this is, the arts are an academic engine. Students who are involved in arts get higher grades. Arts build character and these students don’t ditch school, so that proves it works. It’s a beautiful thing and it proves it’s an academic engine,” Hamilton said.

“It’s a really important academic engine, as I mentioned, but it’s also an  economic engine. The arts are one of the few programs that gets funding from the federal government and the state. The return on every dollar from the government given to the arts has a return of $3.20,” she explained.

That’s because people are employed in arts fields and those who support performances and shows shop in the community, buy souvenirs and stay in hotels, she said.

“It’s an economic engine for our community, for our country. When you think about raising kids with great quality arts programs, and also putting money in your pocket, that’s a win-win.  You can’t go wrong,” she said.

Every county in the state has an arts council, and Wicomico was the first in Maryland to form one, in 1967.

“Arts are a gift to our souls,” Hamilton said.

“It has been the signature of civilization. Cavemen wrote on walls. It’s a signature of our lives.”

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