Annual orchestra concert honors students who have passed

Orchestra students perform in their annual concert. The Ailyn Maldonado Scholarship Benefit Concert honors former Riverside student, Ailyn Maldonado. Photo courtesy of Sarah Moore

Music filled the Riverside auditorium on Friday night for the seventh-annual Ailyn Maldonado Scholarship Benefit Concert. 

Beginners and experienced student musicians took the opportunity to showcase their work in a tribute to students who have passed. 

“I’m proud of the students,” said orchestra teacher Sara Moore. “I think it went very well. We had a good crowd.” 

The concert is performed annually in honor of former student, Ailyn Maldonado, who passed away from Leukemia in 2013. All proceeds go towards a scholarship in her name. 

“[The scholarship] is for orchestra students who can’t afford private lessons or a summer music camp tuition,” said Moore. “And we provide that for them.”

Orchestra students on stage at their annual concert. Photo courtesy of Sarah Moore

This year, the concert honored two additional students who recently passed.

Baylee Caudill, a 2014 Riverside graduate, passed away in September. There is an instrument drive to collect instruments for Durham Public Schools in Caudill’s honor. All proceeds from surplus instruments will be donated to Trans Lifeline, an organization which connects trans people to community support and resources.

“We are asking for string instruments, band instruments, any instruments that your older brother or sister, your dad or mom, or grandmother, or whatever doesn’t play anymore and is just sitting there collecting dust,” Moore said. 

They are also collecting monetary donations.

Freshman, Aliyah Thornhill also passed away in October. She was a member of Riverside’s theater program in addition to the orchestra.

The arts department is collecting donations for a memorial bench in her honor.

“We are going to replace the current bench with a bench here and put Aliyah’s name,” said Moore. 

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