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10:10 concert unites a cappella groups in support of local organization

Ten a cappella groups sing in concert to benefit Community MusicWorks

Ten a cappella groups came together Thursday night in support of local music education organization, Community MusicWorks, for the “10:10” a cappella concert held in the Friedman Auditorium of Metcalf Research Building.

All of the proceeds from “10:10” — which sold pre-sale tickets for $3 and $5 at the door — were donated to Community MusicWorks. Community MusicWorks is an organization that aims to “create cohesive urban community through music education and performance that transforms the lives of children, families and musicians,” according to their website. The organization was founded in 1997 by Sebastian Ruth ’97, now a professional violist and violinist, through funding from the University’s Swearer Center for Public Service.

Now, over 125 students who participate in Community MusicWorks are taught how to play a string instrument such as the violin, cello or viola, by 13 resident musicians. The musicians also mentor students, organize events and perform as an ensemble in the greater Providence area.

The 10 groups that performed at the concert are all involved in the Intergalactic Community of A Cappella, an organization that oversees a cappella activities on campus.

At the concert, each of the groups — The Higher Keys, The Brown Derbies, Harmonic Motion, The Bear Necessities, Brown Madrigal Singers, The Jabberwocks, The Ursa Minors, The Chattertocks, The Alef Beats and Brown’sTones — each sang one song, ranging from an Israeli pop song “Ad Sof Haolam,” by Amir and Haim Moshe, to “Bottoms Up” by Trey Songz featuring Nicki Minaj.

The event was organized by Colin MacFaddin ’21, the assistant music director of The Bear Necessities and the Intergalactic Community of A Capella’s president, fondly referred to as the “Czar” of a cappella.

After being elected to his position, MacFaddin knew he wanted to organize a concert that would bring the IGCAC  groups together for the first time while simultaneously assisting a local music-related organization.

“We’ve recognized there (are) a lot of barriers when it comes to getting into music, especially when it comes to singing groups and a cappella. We kind of wanted to address this in any small way we could,” MacFaddin said.

Over the summer, MacFaddin did research to find an appropriate organization for the benefit concert, finally contacting Community MusicWorks because they were based in Rhode Island and specialized in music education.

While the University has partnered with the organization before through the Brown Arts Initiative — who will host a Community MusicWorks concert in the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts this coming February — this is the first time that a student group has held an event to benefit the foundation, said Kelly Reed, the organization’s managing director. The foundation “felt very pleased and honored” when they were approached about the benefit concert, Reed added.

Katherine Beggs ’22, the music director of The Chattertocks, thought the concert went well. “I just really liked hearing the other groups. All of us have never collaborated before and it was just really cool to hear everyone and see the diversity in all of the songs and groups” she said, emphasizing that The Chattertocks were excited to be included in the event.

Amit Chakrabarti ’21, the music director of the Brown Derbies, noted that some groups occasionally collaborate with each other, but usually only two or three groups at a time, such as the Smoked Salomon concert the Brown Derbies hold with The Chattertocks annually as their first concert of the year. However, this concert showed great unity among the groups, something Chakrabarti was happy Community MusicWorks was able to see. “For me, it’s not only the power of being in a friend group, but also working towards something together,” he said of his group’s dynamic.

The feeling of camaraderie among the individual groups, as well as in the Intergalactic Community of A Cappella as a whole, is essential to the a cappella experience, Andrea Qi ’21, president of Harmonic Motion, said. “Once you get in, there’s automatically a group of people who will love and support you no matter what. You don’t have to try hard, there’s just a family there already,” she said

The concert and feelings of unity resounded well among audience members. Attendee Daniela Carney ’22 enjoyed the concert, but especially liked seeing the vibes of the different groups. “It was a nice way to get to know them,” she said.


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