Trinity Houghton to stage ‘A Concert for Afghanistan’

Provided photo Dean and Bette Premo, who are part of the band White Water perform. White Water will be one of the acts involved in “A Concert for Afghanistan” next Saturday at Trinity Episcopal Church in Houghton.

HOUGHTON ­– Next Saturday, Jan. 15, A Concert for Afghanistan will take place at Trinity Episcopal Church, located at 205 Montezuma Ave. in Houghton, at 2 p.m.

All in the community are welcome and there is no charge to attend. A collection will be taken, all proceeds of which will be forwarded to Episcopal Migration Ministries, one of six NGOs which contract with the federal government to resettle Afghans who have been threatened by the Taliban, often because they helped U.S. armed forces over the last twenty years of U.S. activity in the country.

“We aren’t really in a position to receive Afghan families, but many communities across the country are extending the hand of welcome to them.” said Val Peyser, senior warden at Trinity. “We feel an obligation to help those who helped us, and I know there are many in our community who feel the same way. We also like good music and we have a fantastic lineup. I hope lots of people will come out to hear a really interesting collection of talent. And we scheduled it so no one would miss any football. We like football, too.”

The concert will be unusually diverse, and will include folk and traditional music, choral music, spoken word, and a Rachmaninoff four-handed piano concerto. Artists bringing their work to the concert include the MTU choir, Dean and Bette Premo of White Water, Susie Bykkonen and Eleanor McKinney of the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra; there will be a spoken word segment, and a brass quartet will open the show.

The cause is an important one. The first phase of Afghan resettlement in the fall placed 37,000 Afghans across 45 of the 50 states, including more than 1800 in Michigan. Through the next fiscal year, the U.S. expects to resettle another 60,000 Afghans.

Afghan families need what all families do: a safe place to live, schools for their children, and a chance to work, to contribute to their communities and support their families.

Episcopal Migration Ministries and other NGOs facilitate these difficult transitions, and the funds allotted by Congress do not cover the even the bare minimum to transfer the great number of Afghans who must come here for their safety, after the U.S. military withdrew from the country in September.

The organizers of A Concert for Afghanistan hope to spread musical beauty in the here and now in the Keweenaw, and peace and hope to those who must make their home here with us. For concert information, call 906-231- 4490. Covid safety protocols will be in place.


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