COLUMBIA — Alex Innecco, a Brazilian who leads the substantil music program at Missouri United Methodist Church, has spent thousands of dollars and several years trying to stay in his adopted home. This weekend, Innecco and his musician friends will try to raise money in the way they know best: making music.
Innecco is calling the benefit recital Saturday “2001/7 An Immigration Odyssey” in reference to the six years he has spent in pursuit of visas and his green card.
“I knew it was going to be a lengthy project,” Innecco said of the process. “I didn’t know it was going to be so much work and so expensive. I have spent $10,000, and I still have $7,000 to go.”
All of the performers volunteered for the recital, including Mark Cover, associate music director at the church and one of three pianists performing in an effort to thank Innecco for his contribution to the church and Columbia’s music scene.
“We lived here before he came and I was actually involved as a volunteer in his hiring process at the church,” Cover said. “Comparing not only the music scene but also the scene at the church before and after, he has been revolutionary in the enthusiasm and involvement of the music and the musicians at the church and in the community.”
Flutist Michael White and oboist Greg Grobe are members of Innecco’s orchestra at the church and will also perform on the recital.
“I’m touched at the response,” Innecco said. “That has been my experience with the generosity of people.”