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BSM's alternative spring break supported by a cappella groups

A cappella powerhouses the Clef Hangers and Harmonyx are teaming up for a night of song, all in support of a good cause.

The two groups, along with the performance art group EROT, will perform at 7 p.m. tonight at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for a fundraising concert for the Black Student Movement’s alternative spring break project.

Harmonyx and EROT are both subgroups of BSM.

For the trip, 8 to 10 students will travel to Sunflower County in the Mississippi Delta, an underprivileged area with low graduation rates.

Alexis Dennis, a junior and Robertson scholar, traveled to the area the summer after her first year at UNC through the Sunflower County Freedom Project.

The organization, now the partner project for BSM’s trip, is a nonprofit program that sponsors Saturday school and summer school for rural, underprivileged 7th to 12th graders.

Dennis said she hopes the spring break trip will further expand the program to educate the students on issues they encounter outside the classroom, such as sexual education.

The idea for the concert line-up was born in Dennis’ dorm room while she was brainstorming fundraising ideas with her roommate. This is the second year the benefit concert has been held to raise money for the trip.

“We were talking about how we love both groups but how we had never seen them perform together,” Dennis said. “We decided to pursue the collaboration, and it really works!”

Last spring was the first time both the concert and the trip to the Delta took place. Tonight’s concert is one of the few on-campus fundraisers that BSM does for the trip, and also one of their biggest.

“This year we hope to raise about $500,” said Erica Everett, fundraising chairwoman for the trip.

Last year’s concert, which did not feature EROT, raised about $450.

James Malloy, director of Harmonyx, said they will focus on R&B and soul music for this year’s event.

“We had a great time seeing the others perform last year,” Malloy said.

The Clef Hangers were contacted by Everett to perform again this year and were happy to return.

“We like to branch out to support people raising money for good causes,” said Adam Brawley, business manager for the Clef Hangers.

In light of the success of last year and the anticipation for tonight’s concert, Dennis said she hopes to see both the trip and the concert become annual events.

Another performance is also in the works for the spring break project. For the first time this year, some students from Sunflower County will visit the UNC-CH campus the week after spring break and perform a Civil War play.

Tickets are $5 and are available at the Union Box Office and at the door tonight. Doors open at the Stone Center at 6:30 p.m. and the performance starts at 7 p.m.

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