News Story

Atlantic Communities Benefit From Orange Blossom Concerts

A group of travelling musical missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is touring Atlantic Canada offering musical concerts as a benefit to local communities.

Featuring a cast of 12 singers and instrumentalists from the Canada Halifax Mission, The Orange Blossom Special is a concert named after the classic fiddle tune about a passenger train with the same name.

Directed by Dr. R. Kevin Call, former professor of music at Brigham Young University–Idaho and a current missionary in the Moncton, New Brunswick area, the concert includes classical pieces from Mozart, Bach and Chopin, in addition to more contemporary pieces, including selections from The Phantom of the Opera.

The idea for the concert originated with mission president Brian Leavitt, who has seen the number of missionaries currently serving in the area almost double from 76 to over 130 in the last year. Leavitt recognized an opportunity for the musical missionaries to share their talents and invited local community organizations to collect donations at the concerts.  

“We could see from the beginning that this group was very passionate,” stated Vadini Mahibar from the Greener Village Community Food Centre during her remarks at the concert in Fredericton, New Brunswick. “I can honestly say that I have never seen such commitment and passion as I did from this team. … Thank you for coming, giving and supporting this event.”

Honourable Allen F. Roach, minister of innovation and advanced learning and member of the Prince Edward Island legislative assembly for Montague–Kilmuir also attended the event in Montague. 

The Church partnered with the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 11 October 2013 to benefit the children’s hospital. Some of the performers also presented a mini-concert for the children at the hospital. 

Another beneficiary of the concert was Inclusions East, a non-profit organization in Prince Edward Island serving people with an intellectual disability. Inclusions East executive director Nancy Anderson expressed her appreciation for the local support and worldwide humanitarian efforts of the Church. “I don’t think this happened by chance,” she said. “When things like this come together, I believe they are meant to be.”

Mormon missionaries can be seen on the streets of hundreds of major cities in the world as well as in thousands of smaller communities. These full-time missionaries volunteer for 18 to 24 months to teach others about the gospel of Jesus Christ while offering service in local communities. There are currently more than 80,000 missionaries serving throughout the world.

The Orange Blossom Special will continue to tour throughout the month with scheduled concerts on 9 November in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and on 23 November in Saint John, New Brunswick.

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