After more than 30 years of singing American classics on the Sunday of Spring Weekend, local musician Dave Binder may be giving his last Spring Weekend concert at the University this year, according to the event’s Facebook page. He also will not be performing during Senior Week.
Binder has performed at every Spring Weekend since 1986, leading sing-alongs to the golden oldies and hits from the current top charts alike. Traditionally held on Ruth Simmons Quadrangle, this year’s concert will take place on Pembroke Field. Binder’s performance is notably more relaxed than those of the artists who precede him on Friday and Saturday. His act features a smaller stage, acoustic music and “songs that people know from their childhood and can sing along to,” according to Rory Tait ’20, Theta Alpha fraternity’s social chair.
Historically, Binder’s concert has been coordinated by the Greek Council and funded by the Undergraduate Finance Board. But this year, the Greek Council withdrew administrative support due to issues with staffing the concert, according to Megan Fox, the assistant director for Greek and Program House Engagement. The students who would have to staff Binder’s concerts “want to enjoy the activities like other students on campus, and it was hard to get volunteers to make the time commitment,” wrote Fox in an email to The Herald. Fox added that though the Greek Council did not organize the 2019 concert, they still requested the money required to fund it from the UFB.
After learning that the show would not necessarily go on, members of Theta Alpha “quickly jumped at the opportunity” to plan and staff this year’s concert, according to Tait. “Assuming responsibility for the (Dave Binder concert) was not necessarily a small task, but the reward of doing it, both for members of the fraternity and for members of the student body who love Dave Binder, is huge,” Tait said.
It is unclear whether UFB will fund Dave Binder’s show in the future. Fox explained that UFB “does not fund individual group events” and therefore will not be able to fund Binder’s concert if it is sponsored by Theta Alpha alone.
Tait explained that if the Greek Council is unwilling to resume responsibility for the event next year, Theta Alpha would potentially organize fundraisers to continue Binder’s performances. “His performances have become such a tradition that one student, a member of the class of (2013), even petitioned the University to give Binder an honorary degree for the 30th anniversary of his show,” he added. For reasons that have not yet been disclosed, Dave Binder will not be performing during Senior Week, as he has in past years.
The Brown University Class Coordinating Board is currently drafting a statement explaining why he is not performing during Senior Week but did not comment by press time.
A previous version of this article stated that a member of the class of 2015 petitioned the University to give Binder an honorary degree. In fact, the student is a member of the class of 2013. The Herald regrets the error.