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United with Music Benefit Concert

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Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word

597 East Avenue

Rochester, NY 14607

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You are invited to a celebration of unity with music!

Children 12 and under are free! Free food during the Intermission!

On Sunday June 25th world renowned musicians and dancers of diverse nationalities will perform and unite the Rochester/Finger Lakes community at The Lutheran Church of The Incarnate Word in Rochester, NY. Each act will represent a different culture from around the world and perform traditional and contemporary music. All proceeds will benefit Refugees Helping Refugees a non-profit organization run by re-settled refugees who provide vital services for refugees in Rochester, NY.


The United with Music Benefit Concert will open with Mayor Lovely Warren’s proclamation, presented by her executive assistant Andreas Rau, in support of this concert. Then Sadiya Omar the co-founder and vice-president of Refugees Helping Refugees will address the audience. Omar has won many awards for her humanitarian work including The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award in 2016.


The audience will be entertained by:

The Dady Brothers with The Drumcliffe Irish Dancers ~ The Mounafanyi West African Percussion and Dance Ensemble ~ The New York Klezmer Orchestra ~ Bosnian Singer Fatima ~ South American Guitarist Jorge Aparicio ~ Mike Joseph ~ Mary Ashton ~ and Native American Flutist Brittany Vetter


Mary Monroe from Honeoye, NY founded The United with Music Benefit Concert after legislative changes in January 2017. Monroe felt compelled to use her 25 years’ experience with multi-media productions and music performance to organize a benefit concert to unite her community during this divisive time. . Then, after the attempted travel ban earlier this year, and Monroe’s attendance of the Rally for Refugees on February 3rd in Rochester, NY, Monroe felt inspired to use the concert to raise awareness and money for refugees in Rochester.


Monroe’s friend Tracy Cretelle, who works with refugee children in Rochester, suggested RHR. This organization is the only one of its kind in Rochester founded and run by refugees themselves. RHR picks up where sponsoring agencies leave off helping refugees transition to their new home and making sure they have the support they need to start new lives.

Tracy Cretelle, an instructional coach and teacher, is managing the literary event for United with Music that will include Rochester City students from School without Walls, Edison Tech, and Refugees Helping Refugees. These children will have a chance to share their important stories of what it was like to flee their homes and eventually settle into a new country hoping to find peace. All attendees will be taking home a keepsake journal that will include all the stories written by refugee children from the Rochester, NY.


The United with Music Benefit Concert is aiming to raise $25,000. If that goal is reached, ESL Charitable Foundation will match it to help RHR move to a permanent center for its services and programs. This will also allow RHR to operate extended hours in the evenings and weekends and offer services to a greater number of refugees.

Some of the services provided by RHR are:

  • English as a Second Language classes (without knowing the English language they cannot get jobs.)

  • Job Placement

  • Vocational training; Sewing, cooking, and maintenance classes, resume writing, so they can enter the workforce (possibly open their own business) and contribute to their community

  • Nutrition and exercise classes

  • Activities to give refugees a chance to socialize, and keep them from being isolated

  • Transportation to and from doctor’s appointments and to the immigration office, which is located in a different city. Without this service many refugees would not make their appointments.

“This is an important time to stand in solidarity and love. Music can heal and uplift people’s souls and bring peace to the world.” – Mary Monroe

“Our strength is in our unity of purpose.” - Franklin Roosevelt​


Additional Parking is available across the street at The Rochester Museum & Science Center

DOORS OPEN at 2:30pm

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Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word

597 East Avenue

Rochester, NY 14607

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