The teachers and students from Wentworth Music Education Centre presented their 20th anniversary tribute concert to a sold-out crowd of friends, family and the community on June 25 at Kelowna Community Theatre.
Owner Noel Wentworth, was overjoyed by the response of the community and the performance standard of his students.
“I am so happy for our students to experience the thrill of performing to a live audience,” said Wentworth. “But the most amazing thing is that these kids are sharing their extraordinary talent to help sick children. It is the ultimate gift to help others through what you love to do.”
The concerts, sponsored by Interior Savings and K96.3, were inspired by Wentworth’s desire to give his students a platform for showcasing their talents in a more dynamic way than the traditional music recital.
Students would perform to an audience of adoring fans, the caveat being that all money raised would be donated to pediatric care in the region.
Wentworth recalled an early cheque presentation at the children’s ward at Kelowna General Hospital. “I was dressed up as Gene Simmons from KISS,” laughed Wentworth. “I met a little boy who was very sick. He was so grateful to see me in my funky get-up, to just shake my hand… and I knew in that moment that we were doing the right thing, that we had a responsibility to help these kids. Little things make a big difference.”
Funds, donated to the KGH Foundation, go directly to supporting the equipment and patient care needs for the children’s ward at KGH beyond what the government can finance.
“The amount that they have raised is incredible,” said Bettina Muller, events and project coordinator at the KGH Foundation. “We just adore the Wentworth family and are so grateful for their support. This is such a wonderful way to raise money for sick children in our community.”
Wentworth Music celebrates its 50th year in business this year. They have recently been selected as a top three finalist for Music Stores & Schools by the National Association of Music Merchants, a global organization with over 10,000 members worldwide.