November 5—From 6:30–8:30 p.m., Professor Josef Hanson’s Music 109: Music Collaboratory class performed their original songs to benefit the University of Massachusetts Boston’s U-Access program. Black and gold accents covered the first floor Campus Center Atrium with small tables set up behind the rows of chairs facing the stage. On each table were sheets detailing the different cultural centers, with more information on what U-Access is. With the only requirements being a $3 entry fee or a donation item, attendees were able to mingle as well as get food and refreshments while listening to all the different beats.
Valerie Lamour from The Office of Urban and Off Campus Student Support, “which is shortened to U-Access.” Lamour stated, “provide[s] students with a variety of resources in the community that they may need, and [are] not provided by the school. Whether it’s housing or food stamps or finding a job or providing food through the food pantry; we really are there to help students meet their basic needs, that they can continue to go to school without interruption.”
Though Music 109 offered their music, the six cultural centers: Black Student Center, Asian Student Center, Casa Latinx, Queer Student Center, Student Veterans Center, and the Women’s Center, all collaborated and hosted the event. Between bands playing, each head of the centers introduced themselves.
Requiring no audition, Music 109 is open to any student, no matter their major. The class has been around for only four semesters, with a different format each time. Starting out as an iPad ensemble, learning how to make songs within that medium; it took a turn to rock n’ roll. Last semester focused on The Beatles and this year is original songwriting.
One member of the audience, Shonnese Reid, talked about what this event means to her: “This event to me means a lot because as someone who’s personally benefited from U-Access, it’s a very helpful, valuable resource for students on campus. To see that we need an event like this kind of saddens me to think about; that this is where half the funding or resources come from.” She went on, “But in a way it’s great, because it means people actually want to help, not only this program, but their fellow students. That people want to make sure other people are okay.”
Along with music and food, in the middle of the event there was a limbo contest with a grand prize of AMC movie tickets. Two girls dominated at the end of the competition and both won the movie passes. After limbo, ‘30 Minute Free Fall’ took the stage, and played their two songs. The closing band, ‘The Placeholders’, ended the show with their alt-indie vibes and cheers from the crowd.
All in all, the event was a success. A total of 102 people came in support of Harbor Nights and U-Access as well as the Cultural Collaborative, raising $246 and collecting 20 donation items for U-Access.