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School of Music Alumni to Present Benefit Concert for Ethiopian Schoolgirls

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Helen Walker and girls in Lalibela

School of Music alumna and cellist Tania Pyatovolenko is applying her talent, expertise, and passion for music and philanthropy by planning a concert to benefit the Hiwot House, a dormitory for schoolgirls in Lalibela, Ethiopia. The concert, featuring the DSCH Trio, is part of the Young Artists Concert Series at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County in State College and will take place Sunday, March 19, at 4 p.m. Donations will be accepted at the door.

Pyatovolenko, who received her master of music degree in cello performance from Penn State in 2016 and now works in the University’s Office of Annual Giving, is a native of Ukraine. She came to the United States to pursue her undergraduate degree at Messiah College, where she met her fellow DSCH trio members Daniel Glessner, pianist, and Gregory Glessner, violinist. Both Daniel and Gregory also received master of music degrees from Penn State.

Pyatovolenko was inspired to support Hiwot House after learning about the facility from her English teacher at Messiah College, Helen Walker.

“During my English sessions, Helen would talk about her projects with the Amani Beads nonprofit organization in Kenya. It was then that I learned that artistic talent can have an impact on society. We organized the Amani Benefit Concert and that was the start of combining my passion for music with my desire to help others,” said Pyatovolenko. “During my master’s degree, I participated in an entrepreneurship business competition and presented the business plan of Helen’s project in Lalibela. I got into the finals and received a grant for the project.”

The DSCH Trio, founded in 2014, takes its name from the musical monogram of 20th-century composer Dmitri Shostakovich, admired by the trio members for the truth and humanity in his compositions, despite the political and social conditions under which he worked. For the March 19 concert, they will present a program of Mozart, Halvorsen, and Brahms.

Funds raised from the concert will go toward food, English tutoring, leadership training, scholarships, and educational materials for girls living at Hiwot House.