What a night of a consummate concert paving the way to benefit two recipients, namely, General Wolfe School with $3,000; to concert’s beneficiary, Sistema Winnipeg, $25,000 donations.
The donation to General Wolfe School goes to the Children’s Heritage Fund of the Winnipeg School Division and mandated to be used for programming, enriching, learning and learning the environment of the Gen. Wolfe School.
And the bulk of the concert’s proceeds, $25,000, is awarded to Sistema Winnipeg, a free, inclusive and intensive orchestral program that focuses on children with the fewest resources and with the greatest needs. This program delivers musical training to children after school for three hours a day, five days a week. Sistema Winnipeg encourages the children to reach their full potential and inspires greater social change thru music within the community.
Since its founding in 2011, Sistema Winnipeg has partnered with the University of Manitoba to evaluate the impacts of the program on students, families and community.
Paul Ong’s quintessential performance highlights the many varied musical gems, making the audience experience some of the famous symphonies, applauding with acceptance every end of the aria; and the experiential unlimited musical rendition by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, as Naomi Woo, the conductor, musically belted every piece of the masterpieces, with a tempered but playful rendition.
Paul also performed with guest Micah Buenafe who, herself, dreams of starring in a Broadway musical someday.
Not only was this concert a way of giving back to the community but Paul’s giving back and recognition to the person who has made him into who he is today, his mother, Myrna Ong. In his introduction on his mom, Paul said “I would like to welcome on stage someone who has influenced me greatly to have a positive outlook in life all the time. Many of you would always ask me where and how I had gained this outlook in life- and it is this person that has made me into what I am today. And there is this person in our family who has been the rock,” Paul Ong says with a touch of poignancy. “As many of you might have noticed, over the last few months many of you have not seen my mom. She is currently undergoing a medical condition but she still stays positive and strong. I would like to welcome on stage my mom.”
The benefit concert ends with the subtle, yet with inspiring rendition of “What A Wonderful World” by the Sistema Choir composed of sixty young students, thirty of which came from Elwick School (Seven Oaks School Division)and the other thirty students came from King Edward School (WSD I).
“We are deeply humbled and thankful for everyone’s support in this year’s annual concert for a cause 2019 with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra! THANK YOU for believing and being part of making this dream a reality. To Vickar Automotive Group (Mr. Larry and Ms. Tova Vickar), all our sponsors, media partners, photographers, event partners, volunteers, ticket sellers and buyers, and to my family, THANK YOU. None of this would have been possible without everyone’s combined efforts. Thank you for allowing us to use the show as a platform to give back to the community, provide opportunities for youth to share and develop their talents, and to inspire and empower others. We hope you will all join us in our journeys ahead,” Paul Ong said. “Through everyone’s support, we were able to give $3,000 to General Wolfe School, and $25,000 to the show’s beneficiary- Sistema Winnipeg.
These contributions will surely make an impact in changing lives of many children and youth in the inner city,” he adds with a smiling compromise.
With the collaboration of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Paul Ong’s annual concert for a cause, the 2019 charitable event exudes the greatness of helping other people and elevates our spirit of giving and sharing, making this world, our world, a wonderful place to live and to love.
Photos by Noni Manalili, Mark Godillano and Chito L. Sta. Brigida