A student from Sanford H. Calhoun High School recently raised money for two important causes by playing his cello in front of the New York Public Library.
Joseph Darcout, a freshman at the Merrick school, raised more than $400 — with $100 going to feed residents in need through Long Island Cares The Harry Chapin Food Bank, and $300 going toward a program he created at The Juilliard School in Manhattan, where he is a pre-college cello student.
The Juilliard program typically consists of Darcourt performing the cello at such locations as libraries and schools while the audience is engaged in breathing meditation.
"It is a blessing that one can give," said Darcourt, 14. "It is joyful to pass generosity forward to the one who needs it through music. I feel good to give a little, have a little hope and make a little better."
Darcourt was inspired to raise the money after receiving a letter from the Hauppauge-based food bank that said a $100 donation can provide residents in need with more than 100 meals.
During the performance last month in Manhattan, he used his cello case as a collection box and played songs including "Amazing Grace" and Edward Elgar's "Salut d'Amour."
Darcourt is also a member of his school's chamber orchestra, Environmental Club, Medical Club and Science Club.