Release Date: March 1, 2010

Lawrence University professor Janet Anthony, students will travel from Appleton to Haiti to deliver relief supplies

The Post-Crescent

APPLETON. On a trip to Haiti later this month, three Lawrence University musicians are planning to provide cover and comfort for the communities of performers they've come to know.

Music professor Janet Anthony, a cellist and longtime volunteer instructor in Haiti's music programs, is traveling to the earthquake-ravaged Caribbean nation during the last two weeks of March to check on the welfare of colleagues and students at a handful of the country's music schools. Accompanying her are Lawrence students Carolyn Armstrong, also a cellist and music program volunteer, and Stephen Anunson, a trombone player.

The students had visited Haiti in late 2009 to film footage for their documentary-in-progress on Haiti's music programs. The musicians have organized a community supplies drive for basics the Haitians need for shelter, foremost among them tarps, tents and lightweight fleece blankets. Other essentials include wind-up flashlights and wind-up radios, lightweight metal camping dishes, and over-the-counter medicines. There have been requests for uninflated soccer balls for children.

The deadline to drop off items at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music office is Monday.

"I've had a number of people (in Haiti) contact me saying 'we need tents, we need tarps,'" said Anthony, who said the travelers plan to carry donations in baggage and ship what they can't bring along. "Everything that's collected will get to Haiti at some point."

All three Fox Valley musicians plan to attend and likely perform during a March 28 concert in remembrance of the losses of Holy Trinity Music School, Haiti's flagship music school in Port-au-Prince. Fox Valley benefit concerts and other contributions have raised more than $20,000 for the reconstruction of it and other music schools damaged or destroyed by the Jan. 12 earthquake. The Lawrence students also hope to film post-earthquake footage for their documentary, which focuses on the power of music in the underdeveloped country and the bonds it forges.

"I think the undercurrent of it all is doing as much as you can with as little as you have," Armstrong said. "It's that idea of doing as much as you can with whatever talents you have, with whatever little money you have, how many duffel bags you have, being able to make a big difference."

The travelers already have received funds to kick off the supplies drive. Among the items they purchased with $500 from The Boldt Co. are 20 tarps, or shelter for 10 families. Lawrence University music professor Janet Anthony, along with Lawrence students Carolyn Armstrong and Stephen Anunson, are collecting basic supplies from the community for Haitian music programs that are rebuilding after the Jan. 12 earthquake. They plan to distribute the items during a trip to Haiti in late March.