By Harrison Zhang

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Showers. In a time of a massive drought both in California and in Ethiopia, hearing the word showers becomes a laughing matter.

However, flooded with praises and showered with applause, student and professional musicians took a bow at Irvine Presbyterian Church as they performed in Orange County Arts’ Water for Life benefit concert on Sunday, May 1, 2016.

“Because of the effects of climate change, a drought has affected multiple areas of the world, and those in third world countries suffer the most from these effects,” OC Arts President and sophomore Michelle Kim said. “El Nino has not only deprived the citizens of Ethiopia from basic necessities, but also from their daily lifestyle. OC Arts chose to donate money to Ethiopia to raise water in order to raise international awareness of both the natural disaster and its impact on the citizens' daily life and culture.”

Students ranging from an Irvine High School’s freshman jazz band to a professional piano trio, W Trio, who received their education at University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music and professionally performed since 2006, took the stage to take their part in making a difference.

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In addition to a set of nine different performance groups, OC Arts also hosted a book sale to raise more funds by selling books ranging from recipe books, academic work books, and leisure reading material. Local franchise stores Costco and Yogurtland contributed to the concert through sponsorships.

Water for Life’s concession stand featured Ardent Academy Heather Phillips’ baking treats. Her online blog can be seen here.

The benefit concert raised a total of $1,500 after all expense deductions. All donations were sent to UNICEF Ethiopia in order to help Ethiopians receive direct aid. Further steps of action to help out can be done through visiting UNICEF’s Tap Project here.

“I believe that students should understand what's happening outside of their own local scope,” Kim said. “They should comprehend the impact that these natural disasters have on other places of the world and share their knowledge to raise awareness in their community.”