Multiband Pops concert to benefit hurricane relief

The Department of Music and Dance’s annual Multibands Pops concert is taking on a humanitarian role this year with proceeds going to assist hurricane victims along the Gulf Coast.

Following the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, faculty, students and staff in the department and their colleagues in the Fine Arts Center had been discussing ways to aid people affected by the storms. The traditional Homecoming showcase, which features about 400 students and their ensemble directors, emerged as the ideal vehicle.

The concert “enables a considerable number of our students and faculty to offer their talents in an effort to raise money for victims of Katrina and Rita,” says T. Dennis Brown, interim department chair.

The concert on Friday, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall features dance, jazz, percussion and wind music in a fast-paced program. Jazz groups include the Chapel Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble I and Vocal Jazz Ensemble under the direction of David Sporny, Jeffrey Holmes, and Catherine Jensen-Hole, respectively. Students in the Dance Program will perform choreography by Billbob Brown. Other performing groups include the MASS Marimba Band, Symphony Band, Percussion Ensemble, UMass Marimba Ensemble and Wind Ensemble and the Minuteman Marching Band.

Proceeds from the sale of tickets will be donated through the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts to major national organizations working directly with hurricane survivors.

Tickets are $18 general public and $12 for children under 18 years old, senior citizens and students; seats at the front of the hall in a special section for "Angels of the Hurricane" are $30. Tickets can be purchased at the Fine Arts Center Box Office (545-2511). Advanced purchase is strongly suggested as this event tends to sell out.

Additional donations for hurricane relief will be accepted at the concert.