EMC hosts an in-person concert on 4/16


Lucas Tang ('23)

EMC hosts a concert to raise funds for children to continue their musical careers through a non-cost instrument rental program.

East Musicians on Call held their first benefit concert as part of their overarching initiative, Project Crescendo: Helping Kids Make Music, on Friday, April 16 at the Y.A.L.E. School Ellisburg Campus. EMC’s mission of their in-person concert was directed to raise funds to support the financial situations that hinder children of young age to begin or continue their musical careers through their establishment of a non-cost instrument rental program.

The club’s benefit concert was the first in-person held by Cherry Hill East High School since the COVID-19 pandemic, and by this, EMC organized the program to follow all safety and health protocols. The audience maintained six feet of distance between seating, temperatures were checked at front, windows were opened throughout the concert for ventilation, and all equipment and instruments were sanitized in between each performance, ensuring all precautions. With 72 audience members and 25 performers and staff, the club was able to remain under the 111 capacity limit, following the New Jersey guidelines.

EMC has been holding online monthly projects with musicians through recordings, and decided it’s time for an in-person concert to both overcome the long time hiatus of live performing for the musicians in addition to the fundraising cause.

Christopher Shin (‘23), president of East Musicians on Call said, “Our goal was to mainly give the East music students a chance to perform live in front of an audience, to feel the nervous excitement of playing or singing music onstage again, as well as give the audience the reciprocal warming feeling of hearing live music being produced by actual people.”

The concert consisted of 16 musical performances from instrumental to vocal, with even the collaboration of both. All musicians were students of East, and most members of the club. With the interacting reactions from the audience, all performances were greeted and concluded with much applause and attention.

One of the main highlights of the live concert was “Super Mario Bros Medley” performed by Ricky Hess (piano) and Joey Hess (drums). The uplifting music brought entertainment to the viewers, causing head bops and laughter amongst the audience. The jazz quintet of Patrick Kelly (baritone saxophone), Christopher Shin (trumpet), Dominic Scott (piano), Max Venuti (drums), and Jonathan Caldes (bass) received much applause for the collaboration of advanced levels of instrumental with “Half Nelson” by Miles Davis. The concert concluded with the final performance of “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye from the collaboration of both vocals and instrumentals- Toni Schwartz (voice), Brooke Warren (voice), Jeremy Raden (piano), and Nick Reigel (marimba). The harmony and talent projected through the song closed the concert with a long lasting applause and diverse reactions.

“The turnout was actually much better than we had anticipated… As you could probably tell, the audience seating was spread out and full, and it was an incredibly friendly and welcoming environment for everyone, listening to wholesome live music for the first time in over a year.” said Shin.

EMC received over $400 of donations from the benefit concert and has passed their reach goal of $2,500 from funds. With the positive outcome of their project, the club reflects their progress and experience as fun and exciting yet quite successful. The club expects to release the recording of the concert next week, to fill in the people who missed out on the talented performances.