NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

December 13, 2012

A heaping of holiday music

New England Tenors concert will raise funds for local charity

Janet Kolman has seen The New England Tenors perform twice — and each time, the trio has left an impression.

“They’re fantastic,” Kolman said. “They’re very, very talented and very professional. I was just so impressed with them.”

So, when the Newburyport resident who attends Immaculate Conception Church was thinking of fundraiser ideas for the church’s Society of St. Vincent de Paul, she immediately thought of the group. The St. Vincent de Paul Society is an organization that offers aid to local families, regardless of religious affiliation, who are in need due to difficult financial circumstances.

The Newburyport church’s chapter supports residents in Newbury, Newburyport and Salisbury. It also works with the organization’s Amesbury chapter to help fund larger requests. Typically, the society will supply food cards, gas cards or household supplies, or help make rent or utility payments, Kolman said.

“This goes on all year,” she said. The group can sometimes receive 20 requests for help a month, or sometimes it gets five calls a day, as other agencies refer cases to them or people learn of the group through word of mouth or notices in the church bulletin.

When the economic downturn hit, Kolman said, as with other social service agencies and charities, St. Vincent de Paul saw their number of cases rise.

“We have people asking for help that never asked before,” she said. “We’re just grateful that we’re here.”

To help them be able to continue their work, the society will hold several fundraisers a year, including on Sunday when the society hosts the New England Tenors as they perform a holiday concert.

Typically, the three singers — Amesbury’s Damien Corcoran, North Andover’s John Middleton-Cox and Jeffrey Hartman, an Indiana native who now lives in Natick — perform a range of music, including Irish and Italian tunes, patriotic songs and sacred and religious selections. On Sunday, however, the program will feature a mix of seasonal favorites.

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