Being any kind of artist means that you have the power to use your craft to respond to the world. Students did just that on March 4 through the Refugee Benefit Concert held in Diers Recital Hall at 1 p.m.
The concert, which featured four performance groups, was held in response to the Trump administration’s executive orders on immigration. Before the performances, Hannah Bleasdale, a senior music performance major, thanked everyone who came and told a story about her personal connection with refugees while studying abroad.
“We take being an American, and the privileges with it, for granted,” said Bleasdale. What followed were performances by the Cello Choir, The Sirens Quarter, Jazz Combo’s Assorted Jazz Standards and a string trio.
The performance pieces ranged between classical, contemporary and jazz. Though the concert lasted for about one hour, it was filled with support and a range of styles.
Reference librarian Cynthia Yochym enjoyed the concert and the cause behind it.
“I think it is great that these students are using their gifts for a good cause. It’s so great when students do something to help,” said Yochym.
Bailey Bass, a junior theatre arts and public relations major, enjoyed donating to a cause that matters.
“It feels good to help out, even if you are a student. The fact the other students organized it is really incredible,” said Bass.
All proceeds from suggested donations went to the American Civil Liberties Union and Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo. In the past year, Buffalo has been ranked as the eighth highest city in terms of accepting refugees from Syria so the cause seemed not only appropriate but perhaps incredibly necessary.
Students from the School of Music will hold more events in the future to support local causes. Hopefully, other students will follow the trend in lending their talents to helping people around the world.