The back room of Cat’s Cradle will host some of the biggest names in UNC's music scene on April 6 for a fundraising concert called Be Loud! Carolina, benefiting the Be Loud! Sophie Foundation.
The show features six acts, all of which are comprised of former or current UNC students. The bands' sounds vary — from the folksy bluegrass of Dissimilar South to DISQO VOLANTE’s exotic use of synthesizers.
UNC professor Niklaus Steiner started the Be Loud! Sophie Foundation on behalf of his daughter, Sophie Steiner, who died of cancer in 2013. The foundation established the Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Support Program director position at UNC Hospitals, currently held by Lauren Lux.
“(Sophie) was pretty vocal with her parents about there needing to be more services for teenagers and young adults living with cancer,” Lux said.
Lux’s position, which is paid for by the foundation, works with cancer patients between the ages of 13 and 30, offering them tailored support to help them stay connected with their lives outside the hospital while in treatment.
“Our goal is that cancer becomes part of their story, and not all of their story,” she said.
The foundation’s goal is for children and young adults who seek cancer treatment at UNC to maintain and develop their personal identities, not letting cancer overpower their lives.
Through counseling, yoga, meditation and other activities, Lux and Be Loud! Sophie are working to make the hospital experience more comforting and dynamic for its younger cancer patients.
John Thorp is a UNC senior, musician and a friend of Niklaus Steiner, who asked him to assemble the lineup for the foundation’s fundraising concert.
“He was very hands-off,” Thorp said.
Thorp said he was given autonomy in the concert’s planning and wanted to put together a group that would reflect the diversity of the UNC music scene. Besides Dissimilar South and DISQO VOLANTE, the four other acts in the lineup are the Carolina Ukulele Ensemble, female duo Bonn & Tepp and two rock bands for which Thorp plays bass, MKR and LAIRS.
“This event is sort of a who's-who in the county music scene right now,” said Patrick Carney, guitarist and vocalist of LAIRS. “As somebody who graduated a few years ago, it’s really cool to see the continuation of a really strong campus music legacy.”
Steiner, a musician himself, organized the foundation's first benefit concert in 2014. The two-night show at Cat’s Cradle was successful — both nights sold out and the organization raised $45,000.
A year later the foundation held another event at Cat’s Cradle with similar success. Now, this will be the third installment. This will be the first time that the lineup is comprised of only UNC bands.
DISQO VOLANTE, a recent graduate of UNC and a former member of a jazz band that John Thorp played in, said he is excited about the concert, particularly the idea of music being used for charitable purposes.
“I’m always into the idea of using the visibility and the communion of music to get people behind the right causes,” he said.
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