Colleagues, friends and former students of Shirley Salazar gathered Sunday for a benefit concert to help cover her medical expenses.
Salazar is an affiliate voice instructor at Bradley, the conductor of the Peoria Cooperative Academy Chorale and worship leader at Peoria Christian Fellowship Church. She also maintains a private voice studio.
The concert included performances by several groups, including After Hours Barbershop Quartet, the Bradley Chorale, Morton Civic Chorus, Peoria Cooperative Academy Choir, as well as colleagues and former students.
“The concert was hugely heartwarming,” assistant music professor John Orfe said. “So many [Bradley University] music alumni came from all over the Midwest to celebrate Shirley and show their love and support. All [of the] performances reflected people’s commitment to the cause.”
One of Salazar’s students, senior music education major Jennifer Walker, said the concert was very moving and it was great to see her reactions. Walker sang with the Bradley Chorale at the event.
The hour and fifteen-minute concert attracted many people, according to John Jost, one of the event organizers and director of choral activities.
“We got a very good crowd and reportedly a lot of people donated quite a bit of money,” Jost said. “A lot of the performers were people who maybe hadn’t seen each other for years, so that was fun too.”
Salazar’s wide range of affect on those on campus made it simple to recruit others to perform at the benefit concert, according to Jost.
“It’s very important [to support those on campus],” Jost said. “I’m going to have to say Mrs. Salazar [is] one of the most loved people in this community and it was extremely easy to get people to come and perform because she is such a generous and giving person, and the number of people she has taught and influenced over the years is very large.”
Walker said she thinks events like the benefit concert are important, as well.
“[Events like the benefit concert] just show that they are supported and they have people that are there for them and they will go that extra mile to do these kinds of things for them,” Walker said. “I think it just really shows she has the love and support on this campus that she gets at home or from her family.”