NSU faculty concert to benefit Japan disaster relief

(Tahlequah, OK)--To aid the relief effort in the wake of the natural catastrophe in Japan, the Northeastern State University Department of Music and Japan NSU will stage a benefit concert April 17 from 2-5 p.m. in the NSU Jazz Lab, 315 N. Muskogee Ave. in Tahlequah.

Admission is a $5 donation. All proceeds go to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

Leading the concert endeavor are JNSU students Michiko Saiki and Arisa Sato. More than 70 Japanese students attend NSU.

"I am not the person who came up with the idea – I jumped on it," Sato said. "Michiko thought of it and the whole music department responded very quickly. Campus organizations and individuals have volunteered to make time in their busy schedules. We really cannot express our appreciation enough."

Also involved in the relief effort is the Office of International Programs.

Dr. Richard Carhart, executive director of international programs, said student-led campus-wide efforts to organize fund-raising activities have progressed rapidly and that arranging the date and venue of the concert took only a few hours.

"It was inspiring to see our students spring into action on short notice, to observe firsthand their organizational abilities, their compassion and the sheer energy they brought to this collective NSU student effort," he said.

Carhart said students from Japan are squeezing as many hours as possible into fundraising and activities.

"I think everyone on campus has seen them standing with donation boxes, even in the rain," he said. "They attend school full-time, work on campus, finals are in a month. It must sometimes seem to them there are not enough hours in the day to do what they need to do."

However, Sato said many Japanese students are driven by a sense of civic duty toward their people and country.

"I think students attending school abroad often develop a love and patriotism for their home countries – I know I feel that way," she said. "We feel determined to do what we can to save lives and help the recovery."

Because of the volunteer spirit present on the NSU campus, there are few costs to cover associated with the concert, which will include a post-performance reception, T-shirts for purchase, a bake sale and an exhibition explaining the situation in Japan.

"The $5 admissions will go to the Japanese Red Cross Society and all other money raised will go there also," Sato said. "It's a chance to see most of the NSU faculty play and it's a great deal. We hope to see a lot of people there."

Those wishing to donate to the Japan earthquake and tsunami relief effort may visit any of the donation and bake sale tables set up around the NSU campus by JNSU students and other volunteers. To make a donation directly to the Japanese Red Cross Society visit: http://www.jrc.or.jp/english/relief/l4/Vcms4_00002070.html

Published: 4/8/2011 8:57:43 AM

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