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Girl wins grant to sing, play for community

Playing it forward

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POSTED: February 2, 2011 9:38 a.m.
Photo by Katie McGurl/

Hanna Suddath breezes through a piano composition called "Summer Nocturne."

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On Friday evening, Magnolia Manor residents will be treated to a Valentine’s Day themed concert as part of one young girl’s effort to give back to her community.

Titled “Love is in the Air,” the show will feature the vocal and musical talents of 12-year-old Richmond Hill resident, Hanna Suddath, and friends.

Hanna, a home-schooled 7th-grader and a 5-year veteran of the Savannah Children’s Choir, will sing and play the piano along with other choir members and musicians. She proposed the idea for the concert as a way to “pay it forward” after receiving the Letty’s Purse grant from the Savannah Children’s Choir.

The grant, established by area philanthropists Dottie and Jim Kluttz and named for Jim’s mother, a lifelong music lover, awards Savannah Children’s Choir members with funding for a choir-related expense such as travel or costume costs. Applicants must propose a way to give back to the community before receiving funds.

Hanna knew that she wanted to arrange a performance for Magnolia Manor residents, one of whom is her grandfather.

“Well, it gives them such a big thrill,” Hanna said. “The last time I sang for them, they really loved it, and they wanted me to come back and do a concert. So I said for my ‘pay it forward,’ I’ll do a concert for Magnolia Manor, and they’re all so excited.”

Savannah Children’s Choir Executive Director and Co-founder, Cuffy Sullivan, is proud of Hanna.

"Hanna has done an amazing job … she has put together one of the most remarkable ‘pay it forward’ packages,” Sullivan said. “I just think that's such a fantastic way for her to share her gift, and the way she involves other musicians or members of choir is just great. "

During the upcoming performance, which begins at 7 p.m., Hanna will play love songs like “Unforgettable” on the piano and sing both solos and duets with fellow choir members. Additional musicians will play piano, violin and flute.

Afterwards, residents will enjoy refreshments provided by the Richmond Hill Publix and will get a chance to meet with Hanna and the performers.

Hanna has always loved to sing. From the age of 5, she was the only child in her church’s adult choir, and she was just accepted to the All-State Choir for this year.

She’s also been an active volunteer, playing piano in the lobby of Memorial University Medical Center, and answering phones for and donating to Children’s Miracle Network.

When asked if singing will be a part of her future, Hanna said, “Yes. I was either thinking about being a music teacher or just getting a degree in music and figuring out what I want to do from there.”

 

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