By Rebecca Eneyni
As I walk into the familiar green framed doors of the Barnes & Noble bookstore at the Derby Street Shoppes, a stream of warm air, carrying the wooden smell of crisp paper, greets me.
And yet this isn’t any ordinary day in Barnes & Noble, I conclude, as the lyrical call of a flute turns my attention to the blue and white South Shore Conservatory (SSC) banner hanging daintily in the storefront. Barnes & Noble has been transformed with SSC’s presence into a bazaar: the in-store Starbucks offers all the treats and coffee an overworked student or parent could desire, with the center focus on the showcased SSC musicians, filling the bookstore with music.
South Shore Conservatory’s Performathon has been an annual tradition since the mid-1990s. Students of all ages perform in a series of hour-long mini-recitals over the course of four days, all in the name of helping other students. Performathon participants receive a pledge sheet to collect sponsorship money for SSC’s tuition assistance program.
Since I started flute lessons at SSC in the summer of third grade, I have performed in Performathon each year. Not only does this four-day performance marathon provide important exposure for young musicians by performing in a low-stress, yet public environment, but it empowers students to take the lead on raising money to benefit their peers.
Speaking at South Shore Conservatory’s Annual Meeting of the Overseers a few months ago, I informed them that our generation is powerful. We take the lead on charity work, speak out against injustice, and are incredibly mindful, intelligent, and compassionate people. Musicians, in particular, have learned to express emotion through their music, and in doing so, have become especially socially-aware, empathetic people. It is these people that SSC puts to work at Performathon in helping others to grow just as they have as musicians.
Thus, over the years, I have found the most compelling element of SSC’s Performathon is that it provides an arena for students to help students. Every SSC member has seen over the course of their time at the Conservatory how profoundly music has improved their life; it is their passion for music that is funneled into charitable work at Performathon. No musician would balk at the opportunity to give another child the opportunity to become a musician too. Operating with that simple fact in mind, SSC’s Performathon has garnered immeasurable success over the years.
As I am now SSC’s junior intern and part of their Student Leadership Team, I will be taking on a new role at the event by volunteering. I’m looking forward to becoming a greater part in the administrative element of the event, to make sure that it runs smoothly and performers have all the equipment they need to both put on a great performance and raise money for SSC tuition assistance. I believe the Student Leadership Team’s participation in this event perfectly encapsulates its spirit: students helping other students. I urge you all to attend and participate in Performathon to secure a new generation of thoughtful musicians whose potential is not hampered by financial constraints.
SSC’s Performathon 2018 runs Thursday, April 5 – Sunday, April 8 at Barnes & Noble, 96 Derby Street in Hingham. Friends can lend their support by sponsoring a Performathon participant, pledging online at http://sscmusic.org/performathon/, by making purchases at Barnes & Noble and mentioning South Shore Conservatory at checkout from April 3 – April 8, or shopping online at www.bn.com/bookfairs from April 3 – April 13 and entering Bookfair ID# 12323838 at checkout. Barnes & Noble donates a portion of the total sales to SSC.
Flutist Rebecca Eneyni is a junior at Wellesley High School. She has been with SSC since third grade, when she began flute lessons with Donald Zook.