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Local Musicians Play To Help Stricken Choir Director

saxophoneThe musicians at Blessed Kateri Catholic Church are raising their voices to help one of their own.

Jo Ann Smith, Choir Director for Our Lady Of perpetual Help, was stricken with devastating Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). The disease has left Smith completely paralyzed.

At 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 27 a concert in the Parish Hall of Blessed Kateri Catholic Church will be held to benefit Smith.

GBS causes progressive muscle weakness and paralysis in varying degrees. After leaving intensive care in February, her husband Kirk has been with her constantly, offering his support.

Kirk is a professional musician who only gets paid when he works, and Smith has not been able to work.  With the loss of income and additional expense, there has been severe strain on their finances.

The concert will consist of a variety of musical styles. The opening will have operatic arias and choral singing of hymns and popular songs.

After a short intermission for refreshments and resetting the stage, the second half of the concert will feature Roger Neumann, a jazz saxophonist, and his wife singer Madeline Vigari.

Smith graduated from Curtis Music Institute, a conservatory in Philadelphia, where she also met her husband, Kirk.

Blessed Kateri Chaholic Church is located at 22508 Copper Hill Drive in Saugus.