ALTON — This Thursday, women from Alton will be singing to support victims of domestic violence.
Seasons of Life, a women’s choir from Alton, will be performing a concert called Hymns for Him at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 23, at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Alton. The concert is free, but donations will be accepted. The biggest portion of these donations will go to the Violence Prevention Center in Belleville. Dr. Teresa Crane will be accompanying.
Director Eddie Hitchcock said he chose Ss. Peter and Paul to support the atmosphere of the group’s music.
“I wanted something to really capture the feel of the music,” Hitchcock said.
Choir member Kayla Kuehn said the church is a beautiful venue for the concert.
“It’s exciting that we’re going to be at a different venue, and the music we’re singing is going to sound beautiful there,” Kuehn said.
The choir will be singing creative arrangements of hymns of multiple styles.
“They’re hymns, but they’re arranged to not be your standard churchbook hymns,” Hitchcock said.
Hitchcock said he has wanted to start a program like this for a long time.
“I love women’s voices,” he said. “It’s always been my dream to direct a women’s choir.”
Hitchcock also added to the cause of the group by designating it a supportive organization for victims of domestic violence.
“I wanted to add a cause or a purpose to it,” Hitchcock said.
Choir member Kayla Berry said this cause made joining the choir a necessity for her.
“I’m a domestic violence survivor myself; I was in a 20-plus-year marriage and have only been out of it for six years,” Berry said. “Our first concert, we gave to Oasis — I literally put what I could in the car, put my five kids in the car, and went to Oasis. All we could take was what we could carry. I’m still in the process of rebuilding.”
Berry said being a part of Seasons allowed her to help give other victims hope.
“This is really important to me,” Berry said.
Kayla Kuehn, choir member and marketing manager for the group, said she enjoys joining with other women to sing.
“I was really excited to be in a choir again; I hadn’t been in one since college,” Kuehn said.
Berry said the choir’s mission is of great value in her life.
“Feeling like I’m in a group that’s actually making a difference is more important to me than anything,” Berry said.
Hitchcock said the group allows him to fulfill his dream for a great cause.
“To be able to spread the love of music to the community and share it with a group of women, that’s exciting to me,” Hitchcock said.
The group hopes to spread awareness about domestic violence and give hope to those who may not know help is available.
“Domestic violence is real. Nobody wants to think about it being a real thing, but it is real. I just want people to really know that. When you come to the concert, we want you to leave more knowledgeable and blessed by the music,” Hitchcock said.
Berry said she hopes her story and involvement with Seasons will allow domestic violence victims to know they have support.
“I’m glad the concert will raise awareness. I know there’s that woman out there or that man out there that feels like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel because I lived it,” Berry said. “They can see that there is somebody that cares out there; that there is hope. I think if there’s one thing that our music conveys, it’s a sense of hope.”