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SU Brass to perform benefit concert in F'ville

Proceeds to go toward UCF Youth Mission trip this summer

Next month, a group of students are heading northwest to Lockport on a weeklong youth mission.

Through the nonprofit organization called Reach Workcamps, kids from the United Church of Fayetteville will help refurbish homes for low-income families. But in order to go, the students must first raise money to pay their own way. On May 23, the award-winning Syracuse University Brass Ensemble will perform its spring Pops Concert -- proceeds will help defray some of the students' costs.

"It is so important to fundraise," said Sarah Spencer, an SU junior and euphonium player in the ensemble. "Not only does it help send out those willing to work to make a difference in a community, [but] it also allows a chance for those unable to actually go, contribute to the mission and still help those families."

Spencer, who has gone on at least five UCF youth mission trips, said the experience is incredibly rewarding. The week begins by dividing participants from across the nation into work crews. New faces eventually become familiar friends and by the end of the week, everyone exchanges e-mails, pictures and care cards designed to build each other up, Spencer said.

"A big part of Reach is the sense of community with your work crew and the resident whose house you're fixing," she said. "Usually the residents will join us for lunch and prayer time and talk to us when we're working or taking breaks. If they're able to help, they will in any way they can, and are so grateful for even the smallest things we do for them."

The SUBE, administered by The College of Arts and Sciences, is a 30-piece brass band composed of SU faculty, staff, students, alumni and accomplished musicians from surrounding communities. The ensemble performs at official SU events and presents recitals on the SU campus and in the local region throughout the year. Spencer's father, Dr. James T. Spencer, is director.

This year's program includes music from the movies, "Silverado," "Hook," and "Mary Poppins." The audience will also hear "Carnival Overture," "America Salute," and "Overture to Swan Lake."

Tickets cost $8 for adults, $6 for children 12 and under. Sponsorships are also available. The church is located at 310 E. Genesee St. in Fayetteville and is handicapped accessible.

For more information, call 637-3186 or visit theucf.org.

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