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UNC singing groups warned after impromptu concert

Despite a large turnout, an impromptu Sunset Serenade in the Pit Monday night was dampened — not by rain, but by a violation of University policy.

Sunset Serenade, a performance that usually hosts many campus a cappella groups on campus the day before school starts, is traditionally held in front of Wilson Library. Members of the groups decided to move it to the Pit when officials canceled the concert on the lawn due to inclement weather.

Don Luse, director of the Carolina Union, said the performance groups did not go through the proper channels to obtain permission to perform with amplification in the Pit.

“The policy states clearly that you can’t do anything in the Pit without the Union’s approval and that if we allow any sound reinforcement, it’s either operated by us or we approve that in advance,” he said.

“Neither of those things happened.”

Luse added that the groups are not supposed to perform in the Pit with amplification unless it is after 4 p.m. on a Friday — when it is considered a concert.

Luse said Austin Gold, manager of box office and information services for the Union, gave the groups permission to perform, but specified that there was to be no amplification.

“One individual came to me, and they were asking for an extension cord,” Gold said. “At that point, I explained that they couldn’t have amplified sound in the Pit.”

But Gold said by the time he had that conversation, the event had already started.

Luse said some members of the Union staff met with various groups Tuesday morning to address the issue.

Daniel Potter, president of the Clef Hangers, UNC’s oldest all-male a cappella group, declined to comment on the situation.

Luse said the policy is in place to avoid disruption of classes.

Even though classes hadn’t started by Monday night, Luse said the policy applies regardless of the circumstances.

“We understand that classes weren’t in session, but it’s not our policy,” he said. “It’s a University policy.”

Luse said the organizations will not be punished at this time, but if there are violations in the future, more serious action will be taken.

Senior Sarah Cohen said she thought the Sunset Serenade was still a great kickoff to the year.

“I thought it was really nice to be able to get everybody together last minute,” Cohen said.

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