When Anna Goodwin Smith and her husband, Chaplain Greg Smith, began planning a teaching mission trip to Uganda, their three children wanted to help.
They started with selling homemade bracelets - a sweet idea but one unlikely to make a dent in the trip's $7,000 cost.
So the three musically talented Mount Pleasant kids came up with a more ambitious plan: hold a benefit concert on Palm Sunday and offer up their talents as a draw.
The Smiths' oldest child, 13-year-old Zachariah, studies cello with Damian Kremer of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. Caleb, who's 10, studies piano with Irina Pevzner of the Charleston Academy of Music. And Gabriella, 8, studies violin with Tiffany Rice, director of the Carolina String Academy at Ashley Hall.
Their concert will be at 3 p.m. Sunday in The Citadel's Summerall Chapel. It is open to the public.
"Hours have gone into the music they will perform, and it's amazing that they want to do something for which they don't receive any direct benefit," said their father, Greg, a chaplain to The Citadel and director of faith formation at The Church of The Holy Cross.
The children will play solo works, including two movements of the Vivaldi cello sonata, Vivace from the Kuhlau piano Sonatina in C Major and other works. They also will make their debut as a piano trio.
Several of their teachers will add their talents as well. Carolina String Academy and Charleston Symphony Orchestra players will perform a range of instrumental combinations.
"As we shared the idea with their private teachers, the teachers got excited and volunteered to join the concert and play with the children," Anna said.
Greg and Anna will teach from May 9 to May 24 at Uganda's Africa Renewal University, an accredited university that trains students from 45 tribes in nine surrounding countries. Both said they are excited, despite parting from their children for two weeks.
"While I don't like the idea of leaving them behind at home," Greg said, "I feel like they are coming along with us in spirit."
Greg will teach ecclesiology. Anna will teach research and writing skills. The work is part of a missions movement to empower people in need rather than simply give resources and leave.
"That paradigm shift is leading many to understand that we cannot just give handouts. We need to empower people in other cultures to reach and teach their own countrymen," Anna said.
This marks Greg's fourth trip and Anna's second to the African country. Funds raised beyond the trip's cost will purchase books for the Africa Renewal University library.
Tickets to the concert are not needed; donations will be accepted. For more, go to holycrosscitadel.org/wordpress and click on Africa.
Reach Jennifer Hawes at 937-5563, follow her on Twitter at @JenBerryHawes or subscribe to her at facebook.com/jennifer.b.hawes.
Caleb Smith, 10, studies piano with Irina Pevzner of the Charleston Academy of Music.×
Citadel Chaplain Greg Smith teaches at Africa Renewal University in Kampala, Uganda.×
Zachariah Smith, 13, studies cello with Damian Kremer of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.×
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