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Greg McCallum

Humanitarian Work

Reflections on world peace
Reflections on World Peace is a New Year’s Eve concert that is held at United Church of Chapel Hill. The first concert took place at the dawn of the new millennium on December 31, 2000. At the time, Greg was recording his Reflections CD in the sanctuary of United Church with his Yamaha C7 piano. He decided to organize this concert in the form of a meditation service with an emphasis on world peace in the new millennium. Readings by Albert Schweitzer, Maya Angelou, Gandhi, Einstein, Archbishop Oscar Romero, Jesus, St. Francis of Assisi and children from around the world were interspersed with selections from the CD program and, as requested, there was no applause. The evening was so memorable that Piano Connections sponsored the event in 2001 and donations were accepted to benefit the hunger relief efforts in Afghanistan.

     Joy, sorrow, tears, lamentation, laughter – to all these music gives voice, but in such a way that we are transported from the world of unrest to a world of peace, and see reality in a new way, as if we were sitting by a mountain lake and contemplating hills and woods and clouds in the tranquil and fathomless water.
--Albert Schweitzer


Greg plays to help raise money to feed the homeless
Beethoven and Friends for the Homeless is an annual concert that benefits the Inter-Faith Council of Chapel Hill, NC. Greg began this series in May 2000 in response to a financial crisis that threatened to close the homeless shelter on the weekends. At that time, Greg was learning Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata and felt that Beethoven would be an advocate for the homeless if he were alive today. Beethoven believed that his deafness caused him to be a social outcast and wrote in 1802 in his Heiligenstadt Testament, “My misfortune afflicts me doubly, since it causes me to be misunderstood. All but alone, I enter society no more than is required by the most urgent Necessity. I must live like a Banished man…” The first concert featured a Beethoven piano sonata, a violin and piano sonata (with violinist Eric Pritchard), guest performers of diverse musical styles and everyone together on the "Ode to Joy" finale. After two concerts, $20,000 has been raised to support the work of the Inter-Faith Council.


Greg plays to help raise money to build houses
Building Houses With Music is Greg’s first benefit concert series, which continues today. In the summer of 1992, Greg attended a Habitat for Humanity Global Village work camp in Guatemala with a group from United Church of Chapel Hill. There he performed a mini-concert under some unforgettable circumstances: in a Habitat home on a “toy” keyboard at 10,000 feet elevation in the Highlands of Guatemala. Nevertheless, Greg was deeply moved by Habitat’s mission in the world and wanted to continue to contribute to their cause. Greg was inspired to “build houses with music” by giving benefit concerts which used piano hammers and classical music to help raise the funds to build homes for our “neighbors in need.” Greg has performed these concerts across the Southeast, performed for volunteers at the 30/30,000 “blitz” build in Americus, GA, and was cited for his work by Habitat founder Millard Fuller in his book, The Theology of the Hammer. To date, Greg has financed two homes through "Building Houses With Music."


© Greg McCallum 2002-2016