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A cappella group to host benefit concert with Ayoni for Women's History Month

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Ellen Garfinkle and Peyton Metzler, the president and treasurer of Cadence a Capella, pose together at the Old Well on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023.

Cadence is an all-female-presenting a cappella group on campus that stands at the intersection of serving the community, uplifting women and singing meaningful music. 

The group will hold Power in Purple, their first-ever benefit concert, in honor of Women’s History Month this Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Local 506 on Franklin Street. 

The show will open with a set of songs sung by Cadence, followed by headlining Barbados-native artist, Ayoni, who will take the stage for an hour. Ayoni is known for her empowering musical catalog — as she is a woman of color who gears her lyrics toward feminist ideals while artistically representing herself in the same way.

This concert will direct 100 percent of its proceeds to three organizations chosen by Cadence —  including WomenNC, the National Council of Jewish Women and NC Women United. As a group, members of Cadence said it is important to use the concert as an opportunity to act upon one of their principal values of community service.

“Within the group, we really value ourselves as people first and how we’re doing in our own lives,” UNC senior and president Ellen Garfinkle said. “And, that levels the same with the music aspect of the group, so we really are a group of friends just as much as we are a group committed to creating music for ourselves and the community.”

Garfinkle joined Cadence during the fall semester of her first year at UNC in 2019, hoping to find a community at Chapel Hill that encouraged expanding and presenting individual musical talent while also contributing to community service. Needless to say, she found the community she was looking for.

She had the idea for the concert last fall and started sending emails to contributors, ranging from student organization sponsors to recognized artists. From there, she confirmed and officially contracted Ayoni, and things started coming together.

“It started as a passion project. I was in the car driving back to UNC in August of 2022 thinking about how it's going to be my last year, and I really wanted to do something with the resources I had at hand,” Garfinkle said. “Especially, being the president of Cadence, I wanted to stretch that position and see what more my group could do for the outside community.”

Eager to begin the planning of an event at this caliber, Garfinkle began to collaborate with junior Peyton Metzler who handled the financial aspect of the concert as Cadence's treasurer. Early in the planning process, the two realized they needed significant funds to hold the event and ensured they reached the necessary amount in time.

Metzler joined Cadence her sophomore year as a transfer student and knew it was the right place for her. She was looking for a group that was specifically a feminine-presenting group because that’s where she felt most comfortable.

“We have retreats and other bonding events together, but our unfiltered check-ins with each other at the beginning of each rehearsal is a primary part of our community,” she said.

Spearheading the concert was important to Metzler because of how strongly and passionately she felt about finding a suitable way to honor Women’s History Month in a unique way.

Sophomore member of Cadence Olivia Stokes believes this concert helps stress the importance of Women’s History Month “by promoting feminine joy.” 

“It feels so positive, and there is so much great energy that will inspire other women,” Stokes said.

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