Opera singer returns to Brackenridge church to raise money for food bank
Mezzo-soprano Marianne Cornetti began singing at local churches, including Brackenridge’s Trinity United Methodist, as a teenager before making her professional debut with the Pittsburgh Opera and singing professionally for three decades.
On Sunday, she returned to Trinity United Methodist to hold a concert to raise money for the Allegheny Valley Association of Churches food bank. The concert, planned and organized by Cornetti, raised nearly $4,000. More than 300 people attended.
Cornetti said she wanted Sunday’s concert to benefit the food bank in time for Thanksgiving. She was accompanied by pianist Bryan Sable.
“It’s my way of giving back to the communities and churches that supported me,” she said. “It’s a wonderful position to be in to give back.”
Cornetti first sang at Trinity when she was 16, now 42 years ago. She recalled connecting with a member of the choir, Eileen Mosely, whom Cornetti described as an inspiration. The two reconnected this year, and Mosely helped Cornetti come up with the concert idea.
Now, Cornetti is planning an entire series of concerts for the next year, with performances planned for at least eight different churches. She said she has some connection to each of the churches, and each concert will benefit a different charity.
Sunday’s concert also was one in a long series of events at Trinity.
Since Christmas Eve 2018, the church has held numerous concerts, including a laser show, a rock and roll concert, an acoustic concert and an Open Mic Night for the organization Band Together for Autism. Next month the church will host an autism-friendly Christmas dance and a classical music concert on Christmas Eve. A jazz review is planned for the spring.
“What I’m trying to do is bring the arts to Allegheny Valley,” said the Rev. Greg Spencer, Trinity’s pastor. “A lot of people can’t afford to go into Pittsburgh, and we want to help people get access to what they might not otherwise get, to help people improve the joy of their lives.”
Teghan Simonton is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Teghan at 724-226-4680, [email protected] or via Twitter .