By Beth MacLeod Largent
Here at South Shore Conservatory we are diligently working on our annual Performathon: 27 hours of incredible performances, spread out over four days, guaranteed to make you smile from start to finish! As Director of Performance, I absolutely love seeing all levels of performers, from tiny Suzuki violin players, through adult chamber musicians. However, when I think about Performathon 2017, it’s not just the performing that makes me happy. It’s the raising money for scholarships for deserving students, a noble venture and part of our daily work at SSC that makes me happy. But additionally, there’s something even MORE that touches close to my heart.
Growing up, the Duxbury Free Library was one of my favorite places to visit. Every week my mother would take me and my brothers to borrow as many library books as we could hold. We carted those books everywhere: to the beach, to our grandparents, in the car –and home. Reading and books continue to be an important component of my personal life. Being in the middle of a big, beautiful book store is a large part of why I adore Performathon, SSC’s annual performance marathon so very much! We bring our students to Barnes & Noble at the Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham, and for four days, my love of music and my love of books are combined. Our students, beginners through adults, raise pledges to help with scholarship – something so important for access at SSC. It’s thrilling to see the excitement on our younger students faces as they hand in their pledge envelopes, knowing they are helping others. At Performathon, they are able to put all their hard work to use.
In between checking in students and listening to heartwarming performances, I allow myself the luxury of wandering the down aisles in the store. I hold the books, I smell them, I feel the lovely fabrics and paper – it’s sublime. Also, I BUY!! I feel good doing this because a portion of my purchase comes back to SSC for scholarship support, so its guilt free. I’ve purchased holiday gifts, birthday gifts, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day gifts. And, of course, gifts for me. In true non-profit spirit, my 13-year-old son also volunteers his time checking in performers…and he’s a VERY good shopper! Every day of Performathon we leave Barnes & Noble with something new, and every day I come home feeling energized and happy.
I invite you to join us for Performathon Thursday, March 30 from 5-9 pm, Friday, March 31 from 4-9 pm, Saturday, April 1 from 9 am – 6 pm, and Sunday, April 2 from 12- 5 pm at Barnes & Noble, 96 Derby Street in Hingham! Come visit, have a cup of coffee and listen to some inspiring music. I promise you that your heart will sing right along with the music. And who knows? You might just find a treasure you just have to bring home. Mention South Shore Conservatory at checkout and a percentage of your sale comes to SSC. There’s nothing like the feel of a book combined with sweet music, and knowing you’re raising money for deserving students. I can’t think of anything better. I hope to see you there!
Beth MacLeod Largent is South Shore Conservatory’s Director of Performance and a member of SSC’s voice department.