Rhythms for Rebuilding works to orchestrate diversity

| Scene Reporter

The Mosaic Whispers performs at the 2009 Rhythms for Rebuilding in Graham Chapel.Paul Goedeke | Student Life

The Mosaic Whispers performs at the 2009 Rhythms for Rebuilding in Graham Chapel.

For the fifth consecutive year, Washington University’s a capella groups are joining forces for a good cause. This year’s Rhythms for Rebuilding benefit concert will be held on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Graham Chapel.

The concert will feature 10 campus a cappella groups: After Dark, the Amateurs, the Aristocats, Deliverance, the Greenleafs, More Fools than Wise, the Mosaic Whispers, the Pikers, Staam and the Stereotypes.

As in past years, all proceeds from the concert will be donated to charity. This year, the recipient will be Orchestrating Diversity, an educational music program run through the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center in St. Louis.

The program offers high school students intensive instruction in music theory, music history, private and ensemble performance, and musicianship at no cost.

“We were so excited to find a charity that promotes music,” said sophomore Cassie Trammel, president of the Rhythms executive board. “It fits really well with the concert.”

In fact, Orchestrating Diversity has deep roots in the Wash. U. community. It was founded in part by Wash. U. senior Max Woods through a Kaldi’s Social Change Grant.

“It’s a place for artists to come and basically to support the creative and intellectual growth of musicians and other artists,” said Kory Lyles, director of human resources for Orchestrating Diversity.

Trammel, who is also a member of the Amateurs, heard about the program through the Community Service Office and decided to look into Orchestrating Diversity as a potential Rhythms beneficiary.

Members of the Rhythms executive board toured the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center early in the semester to learn more about the program.

“It’s an awesome program because they’re trying to make the kids feel like they can go out and make changes in the community instead of waiting for change to happen,” Trammel said. “They go into schools that basically don’t have any music programs at all.”

The program has remained closely connected to the Wash. U. community. In August, members of Orchestrating Diversity performed in Holmes Lounge for their summer concert.

According to Lyles, nonprofit organizations often struggle during difficult economic times and rely on the support of the community to survive.

“I guess it makes sense because the people who are donating realize that while the economy is challenging for them, it’s also challenging for nonprofits like us,” Lyles said.

With Rhythms for Rebuilding just around the corner, Trammel thinks this year’s event will continue the Rhythms tradition of combining Wash. U.’s musical and philanthropic strengths.

Advance tickets are on sale for $5 through Thursday in the DUC from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and through Wednesday in Bear’s Den from 6-8 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased at the door for $6.

Additionally, concertgoers can purchase raffle tickets for $1 each. The winner will receive a basket containing a CD from each of the performing groups.