Lil’ Night of Music supports Israeli school
Published: Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Updated: Tuesday, November 10, 2009 06:11
Music emanated from the Scrounge on Wednesday, echoing through the main hallway of Perkins Students Center and spilling outside into the cold night air. The source was from the Lil' Night of Music, a charity event hosted by KOACH, the conservative Jewish branch of Hillel on campus.
Mike Belello, program director for Hillel, said although the program was run by KOACH, it was intended for more than just Jewish students.
"It's a good time and it's fun, and it's something that's not religious based," Belello said. "It's not prayer and chicken. It's something a little new and different and exciting that overarches the whole campus community."
The Lil' Night of Music was free. Organizers sold raffle tickets at one for $1 or five for $3. KOACH raised $75 over the course of the night, all of which was donated to the Dunie Weizman Conservatory, the oldest music school in Israel.
A non-profit located in Haifa, the conservatory serves 350 children from diverse backgrounds. Approximately 30 percent are immigrants from the former Soviet Union and another 15 percent are from a low socio-economic background, according to the conservatory's Web site.
Donations contribute to running the school, as well as supporting musical outreach programs to children in Haifa's poorest neighborhoods, the Web site states.
Senior Janice Neiman, president of KOACH , said the group picked the conservatory as the benefactor of the event because it related to both Judaism and music.
"We were particularly interested in a philanthropy that supported our cause, and since we were putting on a concert we figured a music conservatory would be a good fit," she said.
Sophomore Alex Lee emceed the event. He encouraged attendees to buy raffle tickets and donate throughout the night.
"If kids are playing music, they might be more peaceful, and we could work to end the war," Lee said.
The event was cosponsored by Sigma Pi. A dozen or so Sigma Pi members attended to support their performing brothers.
Performers included sophomore Jared Weintraub on guitar, who played a medley he arranged himself, the band Good Looks, and senior classical violinist Stephan LaBelle, who played Fritz Kreisler's Liebesfreud.
"The group asked me and I have my senior recital in two weeks, so I figured it was a good thing to do before my senior recital, and it's just for fun," LaBelle said. "I was asked to play so I'm playing, and it's good performance practice."
Four a cappella groups performed: the DelTones, the MelUDees, the D-Sharps and Vocal Point. The UD Swing club also made an appearance, demonstrating a variety of different dances from the '20s, '30s, '40s and '50s.
Junior Randi Bass, UD Swing secretary, said she was glad her RSO was invited to perform.
"It's always great to incorporate more Israeli culture and heritage onto campus and it's a great way to raise awareness about Jewish identity on campus," she said.
Sophomore student duo Nick Bessman and Dylan Novak also suffered technical difficulties that resulted in Novak singing without a microphone, but they still managed to engage the crowd, however, with a rendition of Miley Cyrus' song "Party in the USA," which got the audience clapping along and in some cases laughing hysterically.
After each set of songs, Neiman drew raffle tickets and announced prize winners. Prizes were donated from Main Street businesses and included gift certificates to Rainbow and the Delaware Book Exchange. One winner received a basket full of university tailgating merchandise, including blue and gold boas, bumper stickers and a university sweatshirt.
Approximately 100 people attended the three-hour event. Although KOACH members were happy with the number in attendance, Belello said past years have had a bigger turnout.
"In the past we've broken 150," he said. "It would be great if we could do that tonight, but the World Series might affect attendance tonight. We have a lot of great acts and when those people bring their followers it gives us a lot of support."
The World Series was playing on the big-screen TV in the background so nobody would miss the game. Lee announced the score of the game between songs, and occasionally an act would be interrupted by cheers or frantic hand motions as one team or the other scored.
Lauren Wells, president of Vocal Point, said she wished more people had attended.
"It's a really noble cause. I just wish there were more people," she said. "I think that events in the Scrounge don't get as much turnout as they should. They are really good events and students should be more inclined to go to them because they are always free."