Breaking free: UW music graduate gives powerful performance on personal strength and resilience


To Amanda Kind graduate of Music Studies and professional vocal instructor this message of hope from Sara Bareilles’ 2013 song “Brave” inspired her to create an entire performance around courage and personal strength.

Kind performed “BRAVE” at Conrad Grebel University College Friday Nov. 17 as recipient of their yearly Distinguished Alumni Award to raise money for victims of human trafficking in Canada. The focus was on the night, the music, the cause, and the students. Kind fore-fronted Aurora House (the cause the show was supporting). She showcased many of her students, spoke of the importance of the charity, and asked for nothing in return. The students powerfully performed classics, show-tunes, and soul songs, all promoting a message of hope and community.

Fellow students and grandparents alike gathered for Kind’s strong and passionate voice, demonstrated in her performance of classic, “The Prayer” by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. Introducing the song, she shrugs and quickly chortles, “The next one is ‘The Prayer’ and it’s a real schmaltzy song, but it’s my Mom’s favourite,” before perfectly belting out the powerful notes, rising to the crescendo in perfect cadence.

Five of her students sang a heart-wrenching rendition of Lady Gaga’s “You Don’t Know How it Feels/Till It Happens to You.” They sang verses individually before each of their strong voices came together harmonizing for the harrowingly deep chorus, earning a standing ovation from the crowd.

“Human trafficking is just such a huge issue right here in Canada that needs more attention,” Kind explains after the show, talking about her own friends who have been directly impacted. The entire performance featured songs about courage in community, personal resilience, and sources of support. The warmth and sense of community demonstrated by all members of the cast added to these messages of strength and bravery to create an incredibly powerful performance.

Aurora House provides “community-based housing and support services that empower people who have been trafficked and exploited in Canada to thrive in society.”