Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Gift of Music & Oneself at Christmas: Michael Severens at PIP Shelter

The week before Christmas 2009, Give US Your Poor organized a performance by classical cellist Michael Severens of the l`Orquesta Sinfonica de la Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico at the PIP Shelter in Worcester, MA. Michael grew up in Worcester down the street from PIP and was home visiting from Mexico for the holidays. Attendance was sparse, the weather was bone chilling outside, but Severens was in fine form. He had played the night before at Worcester's Longest Night service and was moved to tears hearing about the people who lost their lives in 2009 due to homelessness, proof that homelessness is not only a moral tragedy for US all but a death sentence for too many. A number of PIP guests that evening thanked Severens for taking the time to come and perform and for thinking of them. Many talked of their own musical talent. They walked him to the door, thanking him again and again, and wishing him Merry Christmas. I was with him and struck deeply again that I was off to a warm home and these new friends were off to a crowded emergency shelter for the night, for the week, for the year.

Many thanks to the staff and guests at PIP shelter for welcoming Michael and his cello that cold night in Worcester, and many thanks to Mr. Severens for reminding me of the meaning of giving at Christmas. May we all carry that forth throughout the year! Peace out.

PIP Shelter is part of the South Middlesex Opportunity Council (S.M.O.C.)


richard harnois said...

As a close friend to Micheal, i know how much this event meant to him! He is a very kind and generous person, has made his mother, father, two brothers and myself, very proud!
Rich H

Mary said...

I have heard Michael play and know that he has a beautiful talent. He also has a warm, sweet heart and I'm sure that his music did much for the people he played for. He also gives wonderful hugs!!!!