(WJHL) – The UVA Wise Jazz Ensemble is doing its part to give back to its surrounding communities.

The Ensemble, comprised of UVA Wise students and community members, and led by Donald Sorah, a UVA Wise Associate Professor of Music, performed for 30 unsheltered individuals at a hotel in Norton.

The “Paths to Dignity” performance is part of the Ensemble’s community performances, which it performs each semester at a local off-campus venue.

The performance was inspired by a similar event with the same name that is conducted by the Tri-Cities based Symphony of the Mountains, which Sorah is a member.

The project works to bring music to unsheltered people through performances by symphony musicians at homeless shelters and food banks throughout the Tri-Cities region.

“The project this year brought the service-learning aspect to a whole new level and was by far the most meaningful performance I have been a part of during my 15 years leading the ensemble and others on campus,” Sorah said.

In addition to music, audience members were treated to a free meal.

Circle K International, a service organization on the UVA Wise campus,  prepared the meals minutes before the concert and handed out sandwiches, chips, drinks and snacks.

Some people in the local unsheltered community were not able to attend, but meals were delivered to them by the Family Crisis Support Center staff, Sorah said.