Skip to content

Grace Lutheran event Saturday looks to sustain youth music

on December 16, 2011

Charles Shaw sees music as a window to new realms.

“When you get kids involved in making beautiful music, it opens up a world of possibilities in their minds,” said Shaw, who has run the Ben-Oni and youth orchestra at Grace Lutheran Church for 8 years. “It can take them places beyond what they have known.”

Shaw and his troupe of about 20 youthful musicians will be featured at the Grace Lutheran Christmas Concert and Potluck starting at 3 p.m. on Saturday, the church’s biggest fundraiser of the year. All are invited to bring a dish and a $10 donation.

The fundraiser supports ministry programs at Grace Lutheran Church, including the youth music program and general operation of the church facility.

Grace Lutheran houses other community-based services including a food pantry, Catholic Charities and an anger management program. The church also houses Lao Lutheran Services, which is one of its three Sunday services, said Shaw, who is a pastor at the church.

Shaw’s music program provides free music lessons to local youths in an array of instruments, including clarinet, saxophone and violin.

The Ben-Oni Orchestra is one of the Bay Area’s most renowned big band jazz orchestras. Shaw, 59, has performed with such jazz greats as Lena Horn, as well as Nancy Wilson, Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes.

Shaw said he finds teaching music to local youths to be among his most rewarding experiences. Asked which instruments he teaches, Shaw answered with a laugh.

“I can play ‘em all, and I can teach ‘em all,” he said.

What: Grace Lutheran Youth Christmas Concert & Potluck

Where: 2369 Barrett Ave.

When: 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17

Why: To support youth music education and other services

Donation: $10 and a dish for the potluck

More info: Dr. Curtis Shaw – 510-235-3670 (office), 510-499-2838 (cell)


  1. Teresa Puentes-Sweetser on December 16, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Dear Robert Rogers & the Richmond Confidential;
    What a beautiful tribute to the Youth Music Program at Grace Lutheran Church on 24th Ave. & Barrett Ave. in the heart of Richmond. The youth who practice devotedly three times a week and participate in outreach concerts at local schools and shopping malls are prime examples of the golden treasures that can be found in Richmond, if one only looks. I am an avid supporter of the Youth Music Program and I have witnessed the transformation in the children as they begin as timid students and evolve into accomplished musicians with the ability to play multiple instruments. I am so proud of all the past and present musicians that have brought their talent and dedication to all of us at Grace Lutheran. Now it is time for all of us to step up to the plate and support the youth of Richmond through our unwavering support whether it be monetary or emotional. Our young people need all of us now.

    Teresa Puentes-Sweetser
    Member-Grace Lutheran Church

    • Robert Rogers on December 17, 2011 at 1:09 pm

      Thank you Teresa for this wonderful information. We are always happy to do our small part to help highlight these efforts.

      Robert Rogers

Richmond Confidential welcomes comments from our readers, but we ask users to keep all discussion civil and on-topic. Comments post automatically without review from our staff, but we reserve the right to delete material that is libelous, a personal attack, or spam. We request that commenters consistently use the same login name. Comments from the same user posted under multiple aliases may be deleted. Richmond Confidential assumes no liability for comments posted to the site and no endorsement is implied; commenters are solely responsible for their own content.

Card image cap
Richmond Confidential

Richmond Confidential is an online news service produced by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism for, and about, the people of Richmond, California. Our goal is to produce professional and engaging journalism that is useful for the citizens of the city.

Please send news tips to

Latest Posts

Scroll To Top