Local composer Ron Klusmeir described himself as a crazy idea person.
Klusmeier is a part of a national fundraising event to celebrate Earth Day and the work of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.
“I came up with the idea for a national project, like what if around Earth Day, communities across the country could hold a benefit concert with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to Canadian Foodgrains Bank?” Klusmeier said.
Klusmeier, who lives in Errington, has composed all of the music for the Spring Into Song event which is happening in more than 40 communities across Canada.
The music is pieces Klusmeier has written over the years.
“The concert is made up of all music that I’ve composed,” He said. “I work with a number of authors and poets all around the world, so all of the words kind of reflect the social justice, the issues of hunger and of need in developing countries.”
Klusmeier said the Spring Into Song concert is composed of 14 pieces strung together with a narration between each one to set up the next piece.
Because Klusmeier composed the music for the 42 concerts happening from coast to coast, he had to figure out a way to get the music to all the communities. He said each community has different resources available to them.
“I prepared all of the music in six different formats, so that depending on the voicing of choirs, whether they were four-part choirs or unison choirs,” Klusmeier said. “So six different arrangements of every piece, plus arrangements for different levels of instrumental accompaniment because, again, they have different skill levels to work with.”
Klusmeier said he put all the music online and into a binder that people could photocopy.
“The copyright owners have all given generous permission. That in itself was a gift,” he said. “The words that I use are copyright by different publishers all over the world.”
Christina Bogucki, Klusmeier’s partner, said all the publishers and copyright holders are very excited about the project.
As part of the concert is a visual projection that Bogucki has designed.
“She uses images from our photographs that we have taken on our various travels for the foodgrains bank, but also just images that are appropriate for each one of the pieces,” Klusmeier said.
Klusmeier and Bogucki are the B.C. representatives for the CFGB which is a partnership of 15 different Canadian church denominations and church-based agencies that are “all working with the common goal of ending world hunger,” said Klusmeier.
Spring Into Song is meant to support the CFGB’s Good Soil campaign which helps small-scale farmers around the world.
Money raised at the multiple concerts will go to projects that help farmers receive training and support to better their lives, according to the CFGB’s website.
Spring Into Song is a joint effort by CFGB and Klusmeier’s publishing company Musiklus along with support from the Government of Canada.
According to CFGB’s website, “Donations to the program will receive additional financial support on a matching basis from the Government of Canada, through Global Affairs Canada.”
Klusmeier said that the government will be matching funds received at the concerts on a three-to-one basis “which means that every $1,000 raised locally will become $4,000.”
On April 14, Klusmeier found out that one of the first Spring Into Song concerts in Scotsburn, N.S. raised about $2,000 the weekend before.
The Spring Into Song concert will be in Parksville on April 24 at Knox United Church (345 Pym St.) and admission is by donation.