By Kathy Berman
So, what do you do when you are a first-year university student sent back home to a farm in the Eastern Cape for lockdown? Plus, your beloved grandmother is terminally ill, and passes away under your care; and you want to make a difference in your community.
Well, if you are first-year Occupational Therapy student, and lifelong musician, Erin Lovemore, you /+get hold of Michele Sohn, co-founder of #10MillionMasks and tell her you love the masks project and want to do something for Women’s Day – in music! And if you are Michele, you say: “Of course – let’s spread the kindness!”
And so, this Women’s Day Weekend (7, 8 and 9 August) #10MillionMasks will be posting the work of over *- that the charming Erin has managed to persuade to join her in her “small” endeavour. For them, as she says it: “They will be giving away something that they can afford, but something that is so personal: their most precious gifts – their music, their creation, their art.”
Included in the line-up over the weekend, will be a range from pop to Classical music; professionals, such as Gloria Campaner, an Italian pianist and Caleb Vaughn Jones, a cellist in America, to “rising stars” still in school; those who sing in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa, as well as various school groups and bands, including Collegiate Girl’s High School Concert Band, and the Nelson Mandela University Symphony Orchestra. “All styles and all levels of ability – we wanted it to be inclusive, with something for everyone, everywhere”
Erin is amazed at how many people rushed to join the project: “So many musicians are so good at heart and would do anything for charity”. Following the 10MillionMasks model, Erin continues that: “Even if you are struggling financially, you can donate your time, materials. This is an opportunity to do something.”
Erin, who comes from a musical family plays piano, ‘cello and sings. She has two sisters who both play violin – the one is a teacher, and the other has a degree in music. The three of them make up the Lovemore Strings. “I knew that I did not want to enter a professional career in music, but occupational therapy provides me with the opportunity to use my music professionally.”
This extremely modest young over-achiever has only one vision in mind: “This is to celebrate women and music”. And her grandmother. “She was so strong, and the woman that we would all strive to be. And she loved everyone” “I will be singing a song dedicated to her, “Supermarket Flowers” by Ed Sheeran that says: ‘A heart that is broken is a heart that has been loved’”.
In between the music, which she will curate into up to one-hour segments per genre, there will be reflections by the musicians on music, connectivity, contribution and social good.
Join Erin and more than 50 musicians and groups over Women’s Day weekend, 7, 8 and 9 August, for music of all kinds.
The music will be showcased on the 10 Million Masks Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages throughout the weekend. Watch the 10 Million Masks social media for the times that each segment will be made available this week!