Christa Neal, a Fayetteville resident, is hosting a benefit concert at Fayetteville Christ Fellowship on Friday, June 7 at 7 p.m. to raise money for a viola. She began playing viola three years ago at the suggestion of several friends, and currently studies with Sandra Groce, a violist in the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
This fall she plans to attend Asbury University in Wilmore, Ky., to study music performance. The viola she has been using was loaned to her by the New River Youth Symphony, of which she has been a member for five years. Since this instrument does not belong to her, she will not be taking it to college.
Last month, she took a trip to Columbus, Ohio, and visited The Loft Violin Shop. While there, she found a 16” Sofia viola, made in Bulgaria in 1999 by M. Minchev. Although she tried out approximately 20 violas, this was the only one that captured her interest.
“It was love at first note,” she says. “I tried other violas, but kept returning to this one.” In order to purchase this viola, she needs to raise money in a very short time. The cost of the viola, case, and bow will be a little over $4,000.
Already, she has begun passing out fliers and hosted a bake sale in front of Goodwill.
“I'm very thankful that I have amazing friends who are willing to help me put together these fundraisers in such a short time,” she says.
Several of her friends also will be playing in the benefit concert. They will perform a variety of music, including classical, jazz, sacred, and folk.
“Even if you can't give anything, come out and enjoy the music!” she encourages. A donation box will be placed at the back of the church for anyone who would like to contribute to her viola fund.