South Shore Conservatory brings signature event to Scituate

SCITUATE MARINER – The South Shore Conservatory is turning to Scituate to make its annual fundraiser bigger and better than ever.

The conservatory’s signature event – “Chase Away the Winter Blues” – has a new venue, the River Club Music Hall in Scituate. The 11th annual fundraiser will take place Saturday, Jan. 28.

 “The gala is a celebration of community and SSC’s supporters,” said Janet Haney, chairman for the Blues Committee. “It’s an evening of vital fundraising mixed with a cocktail hour, dinner, live music and dancing. Many of SSC’s own faculty members perform the night of the event.”

The event was moved to the River Club because the conservatory wanted to take the gala to a higher level by raising more money than ever before.

“In order to do this, we need to try something new and different,” Haney said. “We are adding a live auction of seven really impressive contributions – a Key West getaway, overnight stay in Boston with Boston Pops tickets, to name a couple. We need the community’s support to fund the philanthropic outreach and it’s important that people know SSC’s track record of giving and scholarships. For the first time, this year we have scholarship students performing. This is one important part of SSC’s expanding its impact.”

SSC has been providing access to and enriching the lives of South Shore residents through music and the arts for 45 years. Recognized as a national model for arts education by the National Guild for Community Arts Education, SSC is the largest, not-for-profit, community school for the arts in Massachusetts, serving over 3,500 students of all ages and abilities at its two campuses – Hingham and Duxbury – and in partnership with schools, and social service and community agencies throughout the South Shore.

The gala is crucial, according to Haney, as it reinforces the conservatory’s goal to make a long-term impact in the lives of South Shore residents and especially those most in need.

“All proceeds from the event are directed toward scholarships, community outreach and educational programming such as ImagineARTS, a literacy program that strengthens pre-reading skills for young learners in Brockton schools through integrated music and dramatic play,” she said. “The event bolsters the SSC strategy in both spirit and direct financial support.”

As chairman of the event, Haney has a great responsibility including working with event planner Liz Graham to oversee the event from start to finish at the new venue, and manage a team of dedicated volunteers as donations are sought for the first ever live auction in addition to sponsorships.

She became involved with South Shore Conservatory when her son attended the conservatory preschool in the late 1990s. Years later her two daughters took up suzuki violin and she turned to the conservatory for instruction.

“The same year they started I was invited to ‘Chase Away the Winter Blues’ and ended up volunteering at the check-in table,” she said. “I felt the event was a great projection of the spirit of the conservatory and the following year when they asked me to lead the Decor Committee, I quickly agreed.”

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Keeping the arts alive in children’s lives is something Haney feels is very important.

“There is a lot of scientific evidence that children immersed in the arts do better developmentally and academically,” she said. “It helps their ability to think and understand, to see a problem and know how to try to fix it. Music and the arts help people express themselves and unlock emotion and achievement. For me, and I think like most of us, it makes us happier.”

Haney always said she gets more out of South Shore Conservatory than she could ever give back.

“We have this gem in our own backyard,” she said. “SSC is a non-profit organization that allows Brockton Public School kindergarten students to participate in a literacy program. It provides music therapy to school aged children and young adults with traumatic brain injury. It provides full music scholarships, weekly music or art therapy for at risk or homeless mothers, and even allows students to participate in the Bay Youth Symphony Orchestra (BaYS). All proceeds from the gala benefit these amazing programs.”

Music is special in its ability to impact the human experience for the better, she continued.

“Help SSC provide music education and performance to advance learning in the young, bring joy to the elderly and less advantaged but much deserved, and open up new doors for those with disabilities. Please join us on Jan. 28.”

The annual “Chase Away the Winter Blues” fundraising event takes place from 6:30 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28 at The River Club Music Hall, 78 Border St. in Scituate.

Tables and tickets are on sale now. Tables begin at $5,000 and individual tickets are $250. For more information, or to purchase tickets or a sponsorship, visit sscmusic.org or contact Liz Graham, at 781-749-7565 ext. 14, or l.graham@sscmusic.org.

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By Ruth Thompson