The soaring, stirring vocals of ‘America’s Got Talent’ finalist, Sons of Serendip, in collaboration with the Plymouth Phil Orchestra, are bringing songs from artists such as Evanescence, Keane, Chris Isaak, and Sarah Bareilles to support a wonderful cause on Sunday, May 17 at Plymouth’s Memorial Hall at 3 p.m. Click here to see a performance by Sons of Serendip and click here for more information and for tickets to this extraordinary concert.
This second annual benefit concert will support Arc of Greater Plymouth, an organization dedicated to assisting those with developmental disabilities.
I had the honor of interviewing Arc of Greater Plymouth staff member Susan O’Neal, who organized this dynamic concert.
The Sons of Serendip have come a long way, from graduate school to making it to ‘America’s Got Talent.’ Please tell me how Arc of Greater Plymouth ended up collaborating with the Sons of Serendip with the Plymouth Phil Orchestra. How did this idea develop?
We were looking for something unique for our annual fundraiser, so last spring we partnered with the Plymouth Phil Orchestra and Irish Tenor Ronan Tynan for a benefit concert for The Arc of Greater Plymouth. It was so successful we decided to do it again this year.
Glad to hear it. Did it all sort of fall into place or was the planning a bigger challenge?
A staff member at the Arc suggested I contact Sons of Serendip to perform with the Phil this year. He had seen them on ‘America’s Got Talent.’ I watched a clip of their performance and I was convinced not only were they incredibly talented in their own right, but also would be excellent with the Phil Orchestra. It was a bit of a challenge tracking them down since they only recently signed with an agent, but we finally worked out the details.
Sons of Serendip perform a number of wonderful covers such as Keane’s ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ and Evanescence’s ‘Bring Me to Life.’ Any insight of what they might play at the performance with the Plymouth Phil? The two will be quite a combination.
Yes. They will be performing their songs ‘Wicked Game,’ ‘Hallelujah,’ ‘Love Song,’ ‘Bring Me to Life’ and ‘How Will I Know’ solo. Their songs with the Phil Orchestra include ‘Ordinary World,’ ‘Somewhere Only We Know,’ and ‘Don’t You Worry Child’ with a couple of surprises!
Such a great event coincidentally as the Plymouth Philharmonic is about to celebrate 100 years next season! It must also be an honor to be a part of that too.
Plymouth and its surrounding towns are so fortunate to have The Plymouth Phil Orchestra led by Steven Karidoyanes in our community. They bring music, education, and inspiration to children, adults and families. They truly are a treasure for everyone to enjoy. We are honored to work with them and grateful for their support of the Arc of Greater Plymouth.
How did you get involved in The Arc of Greater Plymouth? What inspires you in their mission?
My niece is developmentally disabled and grew up with my daughters. I have watched her over the years gain new skills, independence, friends, and confidence. This is not possible without the help of agencies like The Arc who provide the services and support needed for a child’s success. I have also seen first-hand the difficulties raising a child with a disability. Having a child with a disability is a gift, but it is also challenging and families need support.
Please tell me more about The Arc of Plymouth, an organization that focuses on intellectual and developmental disabilities. How does this benefit aid The Arc of Plymouth and how can people get involved?
The Arc of Greater Plymouth’s mission is to provide services, support, and advocacy to individuals with developmental, cognitive and physical disabilities. We support 1000 families with children and adults with disabilities in the Greater Plymouth Area. Our Family Support Center provides resources for families, information and referrals, training seminars, social recreational activities, and financial support for those in need including a food pantry and assistance with sending children to summer camps and household expenses.
The Employment division provides internships and other vocational training for young adults over the age of 22 such as employment opportunities, job coaches to help them succeed, and a couple of in-house businesses to further their skill set.
We are most excited to announce a bakery opening we purchased in Carver. This will allow us to provide more opportunities for vocational training for the individuals we serve and operate a successful business. Many of our individuals volunteer in the community and we believe strongly in giving back to the community.
We are always looking for volunteers to assist with social recreational activities such as sports, adult and teen dances, life skill classes, photography and art classes to name a few. Last year a portion of the concert proceeds went to purchasing playground equipment for the accessible playground being built in Plymouth.
Proceeds from our concert and other fundraising events fund our emergency funds for needy families with children and young adults with disabilities. This may include helping them with basic living expenses, tuition for summer camps, school supplies, as well as food and medical expenses. It also helps fund the social and recreational activities as well as support internships in our Employment program.
What do you hope people will learn or take away from an event like this?
I hope people enjoy the concert! Our new video, “Developing Partnerships and Enriching Communities” will be shown at the concert and I hope it gives people a true sense of what we hope to accomplish and the extraordinary people we serve.
What does the future hold for The Arc of Greater Plymouth? Any other upcoming events people should be aware of?
Our 4th Annual 5K Trik or Trok race is held in October in Plymouth. We have a kids race and a 5k race. It is fun race with costumes, munchies, and we partner with two other non-profit agencies in the community.
Visit plymouthphil.org or by call 1-508-746-8008 for tickets to the concert and for more information about the Arc, please visit thearcofgp.org, contact Susan O’Neal at email@example.com, or 508 732-9292. Ext 108.