Brit band backs VOENA kids in fundraiser – Times-Herald

For the 27 years since Annabel Marie formed VOENA’s a cappella youth choir, she hasn’t shook her fist. However, when COVID-19 sank its ugly teeth after 2020, the artistic director put himself into almost double the espresso-induced animation instruction state just to stay focused on Zoom Zombie students.

“I have had to be very entertaining since the beginning of this pandemic,” Annabel said before hinting at the career of her three sons, Cirque du Soleil.

“I almost have to backflip,” she said. “They get tired. They start to get off. I have to be like a TV personality. To keep them involved, everything has to be very exciting. After 4 hours, I I’m exhausted. “

Not only did the pandemic sacrifice VOENA’s money, but “we lost a lot of money,” Annabel said, but that number has dropped significantly. Membership was 135 pre-COVID. Prior to the recent rebound to 60 people, it decreased by about 70 percent to 37 children.

“It was a zoom burnout,” Annabel said. “The kids were zooming all day (for school).”

The children were not alone. Her parents also suffered, Annabel said.

“They also became ferocious when the kids were at home all day. My parents wanted me to save everything,” Annabel said.

“For a few of them, I try to talk kindly to my parents through it,” Annabel said. “It’s much better. Now I have a lot of gratitude.”

Annabel has made great achievements, including starring in President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, and Prince of Abu Dhabi, and hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Told.

According to Annabel, “Talent on the Move” at Venetia’s Lucca’s Beer Garden this Sunday should be useful, including a performance by British Invasion band Uncommon Wealth.

“It’s a fundraising activity, and every fundraising activity we do is huge,” she said.

The program was scheduled for spring 2020, postponed to fall 2020, and further postponed to spring 2021. With the COVID restrictions relaxed, the 70-seat outdoor performance will finally take place with an admission fee of $ 20.

Expect everything from Les Miserables to Billie Eilish, from “Castle on a Cloud” to Billie Eilish. Annabel says it allows soloists to choose their own songs backed by Annabel and Uncommon Wealth.

During the pandemic, VOENA Artistic Director Annabel Marie played the violin along the waterfront outside her home in Benicia. (Photo courtesy)

“For most of these kids, it’s the first time they have a real band behind them,” Annabel said. “And that’s all the songs people know, and there’s a lot they want to dance to.”

Annabel Marie said it was exhilarating to play in front of the audience. VOENA gave a livestream show at the downtown theater fairfield, but only 10 students were able to attend the stage, with only a handful of audiences.

According to Annabel, a portion of the proceeds from this Sunday’s fundraising activities went to the “scholarship program,” hurting many VOENA families. Some parents have lost their jobs. One of the VOENA vocalist’s father died of COVID.

“There’s a lot of pain there and we need to take care of people,” Annabel said, thanks to Uncommon Wealth founder Andrew Brandt for donating his band’s performance. doing.

“Andrew said he was part of a boys choir in London and knew how important music was to his children,” said Annabel, who also shows off her musical talent for playing the violin and keyboard. I did.

Annabel leaned heavily on the violin to overcome the pandemic. Beginning with a nightly performance in April 2020, she occasionally goes out of her shared home with her husband, Dale Robins, to perform with gratitude on the Benicia waterfront.

“I vowed to play every night, whether it’s raining or sunny,” Annabel said. “I remember Dale holding an umbrella over me and the amp while I was playing.”

Three months later, she reduced her outdoor performance weekly and now does it frequently on request.

“It was the best therapeutic thing for me and the community,” said Annabel Marie. “Now I just go out and play voluntarily.”

VOENA’s fund-raising activity, “Talenton the Move,” will be on Benicia’s 4391st from 3:30 pm to 7:00 pm this Sunday. It will be held at Lucca’s Beer Garden in. Admission $ 20. For more information, please visit voena.org.


Brit band backs VOENA kids in fundraiser – Times-Herald Source link Brit band backs VOENA kids in fundraiser – Times-Herald

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