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Project: Music Heals Us (PMHU) brings classical music to those who might not otherwise have access it, such as this senior group. To help keep the program going strong, PMHU will hold a benefit pizza soirée and concert at the Dudley Farm on Sunday, Aug. 11. (Photo courtesy of Molly Carr )
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An upcoming Project: Music Heals Us (PMHU) benefit concert and pizza soiree at Dudley Farm has its roots in the happy childhood memories of the project’s founder.
Guilford has always held a special place in Molly Carr’s life. She has fond memories of her family from all over the country coming together at the home of her grandparents, Dick and Sally Carr, who lived in Guilford for 60 years. Molly Carr grew up to be a musician, a professional violist, but after an accident, she was unsure if she would recover enough to continue her professional career.
While she was recovering, she spent time at her grandparents’ home in Guilford, which she said “has been a home-away-from-home my entire life.” During that time, she considered different career options, taking a nursing class at one point.
“During training, I worked with a patient and I promised her that if I could ever play again, I’d bring my friend back to play for her,” said Carr. “Six month later in September 2014, my best friends from Juilliard and Curtis [Institute of Music] were playing at her bedside.”
The experience inspired Carr to begin PMHU, a non-profit organization with a mission of providing “encouragement, education, and healing” through live music performances and programs for marginalized communities, with a “focus on elderly, disabled, rehabilitating, incarcerated, and homeless populations,” according projectmusichealsus.com.
Since founding the program, PMHS has performed more than 200 free concerts and performances around the world. On Sunday, Aug. 11, PMHU will bring its talents to Dudley Farm for a pizza soirée, which will be a fundraising concert to benefit its efforts.
“It’s a preview event for a summer festival that we’re wanting to start in Guilford,” said Carr. “It will have a little different vibe than your typical classical music environment in a formal concert hall. There’ll be a pizza truck, beer, and lawn games. You bring your picnic blanket or lawn chairs and enjoy yourselves.”
Carr noted that while it is a classical music concert, there are many differences than a typical classical concert.
“One thing that’s different about our event is that whenever we do our concerts, we talk as well—we talk about the music, the life of the composer, where they got the inspiration, and what you can listen for in the pieces,” said Carr. “The musicians will play classical but buoyant, jubilant music as an American quintet in the door of the barn.”
Carr is excited to host the event at Dudley Farm for a number of reasons. In addition to having a history in Guilford growing up, Carr also got married at Dudley Farm on Sept. 15, 2018. Her family also has ties to the area as well as her father and uncle went to school with members of the Dudley family.
“When I started [PMHU], the town proved to be just as amazing as I always knew it was,” said Carr. “So many organizations have supported it, the churches have opened their doors to our programming. Guilford feels like my home, even though I’ve never officially lived here.”
The ticketed event is $35 and includes pizza from Frank Andrews Mobile Kitchen and beer from Melvin Brewing, gold medal winners of the Great American Brew Festival. Tickets are available online at projectmusichealsus.com/pizza-soiree and, if available, they will be sold at the gates. The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. with pizza and beer served from 6 to 7 p.m. and the music beginning at 7 p.m. at Dudley Farm, 2351 Durham Road, Guilford.
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