COLUMBIA — What do 45 flutes playing “Silent Night” sound like?
Ironically, not very silent. But Rock Bridge High School senior Leyna Craigmilehopes it sounds "grandiose, enlightening and ringing."
Craigmile is one-third of the Alpha Flute Trio, a group of students from Rock Bridge and Hickman high schools who study flute at the Lisa Thill Franck Flute Studio.
They are holding a benefit concert and all-night Flute-a-Thon Friday night to raise money for the Voluntary Action Center's Youth Enrichment Fund.
The concert is at 7 p.m. at the Evangelical Free Church. The Flute-a-Thon will follow from 8 p.m. until 8 a.m. Saturday.
The members of the flute trio — Craigmile, Christina Wang from Rock Bridge and Allison Wigger from Hickman — will perform, as well as MU flute professor Alice Del Campo and retired flute professor Steve Geibel
At the end of the concert, the 45-member flute choir will perform several holiday pieces, including “Silent Night,” with four professional flautists playing alto flute — a rather rare instrument to be able to play, Franck said.
"There are going to be kids who just started playing flute standing next to professionals," she said.
The Voluntary Action Center’s Youth Enrichment Fund provides opportunities for children to experience activities that develop individual skills, offer interaction with positive adult role models, and encourage teambuilding and friendship," according to a brochure that will be available to audience members Friday night.
The fund helps provide music lessons and support sports activities so kids can have the same experiences and opportunities as those who are in a better place, financially.
"If people can’t afford lessons, they don’t even call me," Franck said. She said music is important and can be that “go-to thing" under stress. It is something that a person can keep with for a whole lives if they wish.
All three members of the Alpha Flute Trio said they are involved in activities outside of playing flute, and the Youth Enrichment Fund is an important cause for them — which is why they teamed up with Franck to brainstorm the idea for the concert.
Franck's students — she currently has 40 — have sponsors who have pledged money toward how long the student plays the flute, Craigmile explained.