November 02, 2010

School of Music alumni will 'sing for a cure'

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale alumni from the School of Music are “singing for a cure” with a benefit performance.

“Partners Singing for a Cure: An Opera Gala Event” begins at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 4, in the Old Baptist Foundation Recital Hall.

The name of the performance reflects the beneficiary of this concert, the organization Partners Seeking a Cure, an all-volunteer organization raising money to research cures for primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a disease of the liver.

School of Music alumnus, and assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, Philip Burke, organized the event. Burke himself has a PSC diagnosis. He counts himself fortunate, he said, because, with the exception of a crisis in 2003 that landed him on the transplant list, his symptoms are “relatively minor.”

“In the past year and a half, I have directed my academic research to studying the variety of ways in which individuals with progressive, yet unpredictable, illness adapt and cope,” he said. “As I’ve interviewed many people with PSC, I’ve grown increasingly committed to doing whatever I can to promote awareness of this illness as well as raising funds for research.”

Partners Seeking a Cure suggest, as one of the awareness/fund raising ideas, a public event. Burke decided to hold a multiple performer concert as his “public event.” With 12 singers and two pianists on the program, he found his “partners.”

Admission to this event is free, but the goal -- raising $3,000 from the event -- will only be met with audience donations. Event sponsors have Burke and his co-performers about a third of the way there.

To learn more about PSC, visit To send donations, make checks payable to PSC Partners Seeking a Cure at PSC Partners c/o Philip Burke, P. O. Box 1442, Carbondale IL 62903. Learn more about this concert, or how to become a sponsor, at