WEST HAVEN – Notre Dame High School senior Ned Vogel traveled to Denver in the summer of 2011 to receive an award at the Knights of Columbus annual convention for an essay he wrote for the organization's national contest.
Mr. Vogel came home with the first-place award out of 725 entries from 171 Catholic high schools across the country. But he also returned from the convention with a deeper appreciation for the work the Knights of Columbus has performed in Haiti since that country’s 2010 earthquake as well as a plan to help their efforts to provide prosthetics to every child who lost a limb as a result of the quake.
After the earthquake, the Knights of Columbus established "Healing Haiti’s Children." Partnering with Project Medishare for Haiti, the fraternal organization promised to provide a series of prosthetics for every child who lost a limb in the easrthquake. The children, numbering over 800, will receive new prosthetics and physical therapy as they grow.
Mr. Vogel’s vision to help raise money and awareness and hard work will pay off when musicians from the Greater New Haven and New York City areas combine with the Notre Dame chorus and the nationally renowned Choir of Men and Boys of Trinity Church in New Haven in a benefit Christmas Concert at 8 p.m. Dec. 8 in the Maureen and George Collins ’58 Auditorium on the Notre Dame campus.
The event will be webcast live onhttp://www.gogreenknights.com with a replay available the following week.
"I was very moved by the work that the Knights of Columbus is doing in Haiti and I wanted to do my part to help these children," said Mr. Vogel, who approached Holy Cross Brother James Branigan, president, and Patrick Clifford, principal, with the idea of the fund-raising concert.
"Because of my love for music, I thought a benefit concert would be appropriate and luckily, Brother James and Mr. Clifford agreed," said Mr. Vogel. "We also had the fortunate coincidence of opening our new Arts, Technology, and Spiritual Center here at Notre Dame this fall so the concert will take part in our state-of-the-art Collins Auditorium."
Brother James said that he "couldn’t be prouder" of Mr. Vogel.
"He came home with a passion and a vision and he has worked tirelessly to pull this event together. This was a huge undertaking by a seasoned veteran event planner, let alone a high school student. The concert will be great and most importantly, all the proceeds will go to a tremendously worthy cause."
Tickets are available at two levels and sponsorships are also available. Tickets cost $25 for adults and $10 for students of any age. There is also a $100 VIP ticket, which includes reserved seating in the front rows and a cocktail reception prior to the concert at 6 in the Notre Dame Library Media Center. Information and tickets are available at http://www.notredamehs.com/gladtidings.
The performances will include the Notre Dame Chamber Choir performing Colin Britt’s "Psalm 23," which was written and performed for the first time in 2011. Members of the current Notre Dame band will be playing in the orchestra or featured as soloists.
The orchestra will comprise professional string players from the New Haven and New York areas. Baritone John Taylor Ward will also be a featured soloist. Mr. Ward, who has been featured in the New York Times, has conducted clinics for the Notre Dame chorus.
Mr. Vogel has belonged to the Choir of Men and Boys since 2003. Founded in 1885, it is the fifth-oldest choir of men and boys in the country. Some of the songs that will be performed include beloved Christmas Carols such as "Here We Come A-Wassailing," "O Come All Ye Faithful" and "O, Holy Night." Other pieces include works by John Rutter, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Leroy Anderson.
Peter Sonski, communications manager for the Knights of Columbus, will make a brief presentation about the Knights’ humanitarian efforts in Haiti, and specifically the prosthetics project.