Winnipeggers came out in droves on a cold 2014 February night to attend the Scott Jones Benefit Concert in a venue donated by Knox United Church.
Music lovers were there to support the former University of Manitoba music student who is paralyzed, the result of a hate crime which occurred in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Jones, a well-known pianist, church organist, and conductor, is recovering and hopes to work again.
Master of Ceremonies, Edmund Dawe, Dean of the Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba, captured the essence of the respect and admiration that fellow students and colleagues feel for Scott. His masterful performance of Rachmaninoff was a fitting tribute to a talented young musician whose spinal damage is such that he will be not be able to play his beloved piano due to his injury.
Performers who volunteered their time to help raise funds for Scott’s rehabilitation and related health care costs included, the Winnipeg Boys Choir, Sisler High School Jazz group, opera singer Erin Humphries, Rainbow Harmony Project, Professor Donna Fletcher and the Master Class at the U of M Faculty of Music. A special highlight of the evening was the announcement that performers Erin Propp and Larry Roy have been nominated for this year’s Juno Awards for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year.
In attendance were many Winnipeg music teachers as well as choir directors of note. Founder of Spirit’s Call Choir, Margaret Tobin, summed it up best when she said, “Scott is obviously a very talented and special human being to generate this kind of care and support.”
Tobin certainly got that right because Scott Jones of Pictou Country, NS, recently received the YMCA Peacemaker award in recognition of his contributions to local and global harmony. Jones has been described by those who know him as peaceful and a peacemaker.
In an interview, his sister observed, “He (Scott) is able to dissolve an argument or disagreement with just a special smile, look, or laugh and can turn confrontations to opportunities for education and personal growth.”
Scott has a lengthy list of volunteer service ranging from Sackville, New Brunswick to Korea and Zambia, as well as in his home community. Scott’s love for music and humanity continues to change lives as evident in his involvement with an initiative to dispel fear.
Jones writes on his web page: “Something beautiful that grew out of this experience is a campaign called Don’t BE Afraid. It is an awareness campaign that aims to dissolve the fear that surrounds homophobia and promote a deeper level of acceptance.”
Anyone who missed the concert can still donate by going to: http://www.supportscottjones.com/