United Kingdom, 29 November 2014

Members of the group Holosophic Society UK (HSUK) in Leicester have been supporting a local charity, Vista, over the past few years, participating in their befriending service. Vista is the only local charity in that area working with children and adults with sight loss.

They aim to provide the very best services for blind and partially sighted people. Befriending is one of the services offered where volunteers share their time with lonely, partially sighted people or those with sight loss every week going for walks, shopping and helping with reading letters, books or other documents or just spending time chatting.

Vista is reliant on charitable funding from many sources of which one is fundraising by supporters. It was this link between the members of the HSUK and Vista that prompted the idea for a fundraising event through the use of music and “Service through Music” was born.

On a chilly winter’s evening, a crowd of over 150 people gathered to share in a musical offering that helped raise over £1100 for Vista. What followed was an insightful event full of uplifting musical presentations, information about the charitable activities of both Vista and the Holosophic Society, delicious food and a really warm social atmosphere.

The evening opened with devotional and spiritual songs from the young students at the Ramgharia Centre, Leicester. The young artists sang both pieces wonderfully with musical accompaniment from the sitar and tabla students. After the vocal item, Jaspreet Kaur from Vista took to the stage and shared the important work that the organisation does. Charity donations from the evening would go towards continuing to support people from all ages and backgrounds who have struggled with sight loss.

For the final item, an ensemble of established classical musicians from both Indian and Western backgrounds came together for the first time to present interpretations of popular Western classical pieces. It was interesting to hear how the Western structures and melodies had captured the imaginations of the Indian artists and it was definitely a creative route for further exploration. This really summed up the evening by truly demonstrating ‘Unity in Diversity’ in action.

Audience members had the chance to learn more about the organisations and donate in the dining hall as well as catch up and enjoy some hot, tasty snacks served by volunteers from the HSUK and the local community.