Tonight, the subgroup of the Black Student Movement will be celebrating its 20th year in a concert entitled “Happy Birthday, Harmonyx!”
The concert will feature popular R&B and hip-hop songs from the last 20 years and a large number of alumni will be returning for the occasion. Mike Dyson, a 2013 graduate, will be among them.
“The fact that we were able to last 20 years and we are a student organization with little funds is incredible” Dyson said. “It’s really cool to be a part of something that’s lasted as long as I’ve been alive.”
Dyson was drawn to Harmonyx after hearing them at Week of Welcome his freshman year.
After singing with the group for two years, Dyson became the director. He believes Harmonyx represents the values and mission of the BSM.
“It gives a voice to the black community,” Dyson said. “Throughout time, African-Americans have had their own sound and Harmonyx brings that sound to UNC’s campus.”
Jacob Kerns, a freshman biology major, attended the Harmonyx fall concert and said he was impressed with the group’s talent and activity within the school.
“They’re involved on campus activities not just through BSM,” Kerns said. “They’ve performed at social justice rallies, vigils and in The Pit.”
Kerns also supported the group’s benefit night and said it was fun to interact with the group in an outside setting.
Freshman Kristen Marion, a soprano in Harmonyx, said the people make the group special.
“I could be losing my mind, completely stressed out, but I know if I go to practice they’ll make me laugh,” she said. “They’re awesome like that.”
Marion said she’s excited to perform with her fellow members and alumni. At the end of each concert, Harmonyx performs Lauryn Hill’s “Killing Me Softly.” During this song, alumni in the audience are invited to join the group and sing along.
“Founding members will be back to see what they created 20 years ago and how it’s grown,” she said. “That’s the most incredible thing ever.”
The alumni festivities aren’t just on stage. Last night Harmonyx hosted a mixer for alumni, and the festivities will extend throughout the weekend.
“We’ve had people ask to Skype in so they can see the performance,” Marion said. “Harmonyx means so much to these people so they’re really, really excited to come back.”
Harmonyx is more than a college a cappella group to its members, with present and past members working as singers, performers, activists and scholars.
“Everyone should follow Harmonyx because we will go places,” Marion said. “Even if the group doesn’t go places, the people will.”