Kristine L Ming

Second-hand venue, first-hand music

Trio Noga, an international chamber music ensemble, will perform a benefit concert for SHEKEL – Community Services for People with Special Needs, on November 2 at an unusual venue: Hamezion, a second-hand goods store in Jerusalem.

Hamezion is run in partnership with SHEKEL and employs people with special needs in every aspect of running this large store.

The musicians of Trio Noga were delighted at the idea of playing at such an unconventional venue.

“We have never performed in a second- hand store before! This is an exciting opportunity to explore something new and symbolic,” said flautist Idit Shemer. Captivated by the hip ambiance of the store and the diversity of customers and staff, Shemer added, “Music has always been about conversation, about bringing people together and touching the individual and collective heart.”

UK-based pianist Maggie Cole, cellist Orit Messer-Jacobi and Shemer, are each accomplished musicians in their own right who have performed before enthusiastic audiences at prestigious venues throughout Israel, Europe and the US, and have recorded for several well-known classical music labels.

The trio, who have received acclaim for their accomplished and creative musical interpretations, have a unique agenda.

“We are an all-female ensemble with a clear goal of promoting women’s music. We make sure to include at least one piece of music by a female composer at each concert, in order to provide some balance in a field that is largely male-dominated,” said Shemer. At their benefit concert for SHEKEL, the trio will play a composition by Louise Farrenc, a nineteenth-century French female composer. They will also play pieces by Mozart, Manuel de Falla and Jan Freidlin.

The Hamezion store has become a symbol of inclusion, a value that SHEKEL CEO, Clara Feldman, has played a prominent role in making a reality for thousands of people with disabilities throughout Israel. At Hamezion, people with disabilities get a chance to train and work in direct contact with the general public, as an integral part of Israeli society. For most, it is their first experience working in the outside world.

“Partnerships with Israel’s private business sector, such as this, represent a true way forward for integrating people with disabilities into society, in a vital and meaningful way. The concert is very exciting for all of us here at SHEKEL,” said Feldman, “Hamezion embodies everything we stand for. There will even be a five minute warm-up performance by the SHEKEL College chamber music ensemble which plays at a very high level – this truly epitomizes cultural inclusion.”

SHEKEL College courses and clubs cater to people with all types of special needs, including people with mental-health issues. All proceeds from the evening will go to support SHEKEL College music courses and ensembles.

Hamezion owner and founder, Avi Aviakar, is proud of the store’s role in the community and its unique place in serving the public. One of Israel’s largest second-hand stores, it offers over 10,000 items, including vintage and designer goods and everything from clothing, household items, books, jewelry, accessories, Judaica, toys and more.

“The store plays an important environmental role for both physical and social environments,” he said.

Aviakar believes that everyone deserves a chance to fulfill themselves and realize their potential. “At Hamezion we are proud to give people with disabilities an equal chance. They sort the clothes, put them in order, sell and even market. Everyday, we see the happiness on their faces, the great sense of fulfillment they feel when they succeed in fulfilling their dream of working just like everyone else.”

The benefit show takes place on Thursday, at Hamezion, 39 Pierre Koenig Street in Jerusalem. The event starts with light refreshments at 7 p.m. and the concert begins at 8 p.m.

To order tickets contact: 0506-232155 or order online: http://shekel.folyou.com/he/99

Article source: http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Culture/Second-hand-venue-first-hand-music-510928

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