LSS and Two Piano Journey raise over $48,000 during benefit concert; funds to support growing pantry needs

On Saturday, September 17th, over 150 attendees enjoyed an evening of classical music during the Two Piano Journey recital performance at Friday Musicale, which raised over $48,000 to benefit client services at Lutheran Social Services.

These funds come at a critical time as our food pantry experiences increased need due to the high cost of food and basic living necessities and with many local families facing utility disconnection.

Award-winning classical pianist Michelle Kuo and her son Christopher Kuo are a mother and son piano team, and founders of the Two Piano Journey project. Through their project, the Kuos have helped raise $1.8M for social causes since 2016. The nonprofits they’ve worked with specialize or focus on hunger relief efforts, social services and more.

“Every single concert we perform, in full or in part, is for the benefit of an organization doing critical work to make our world a better place,” Christopher Kuo said.

Making the world a better place is something Chris knows a lot about. His mother, an acclaimed, classically trained pianist, was on a path to stardom when she put her dreams of touring internationally on hold to focus on raising her children. The TPJ program is Chris’ way of giving his mother back her dream, while partnering with agencies like LSS to make life better for struggling individuals and families.

“We are so grateful for the opportunity to have worked with LSS. We were so moved by the team’s passion to serve fellow human beings with such compassion. LSS’ mission to provide holistic social services is of critical importance to refugees and other families looking to break their current circumstances.”

Concert goers enjoyed works by Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909), Carlos Guastavino (1912-2000), Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994), Maurice Ravel (1875-1937).

The program opened with Navarra by Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909), a virtuoso pianist, conductor, and composer whose Spanish heritage bleeds through his major works.

The musical event was made possible by LSS’ generous sponsors: JEA, Vystar, Biscottis, 904 Happy Hour, Champion Brands, DEX Imaging, Crown Products Company, Inc., and Pepsi.

LSS provides five programs providing hunger relief, career and financial coaching, representative payee services, refugee resettlement, and HIV services. The building is also home to community partners, including We Care Jax, Jax Care Connect, Vision is Priceless and CAN Community Health.

Article written by Danae Leake; to contact the author, email her at danae.leake@lssjax.org.

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