Student musicians rock for a cure

Against the gray and rainy backdrop of the College campus, several musical groups played in the Travers/Wolfe main lounge for the Concert for Cancer, sponsored by the office of Residential Education and WTSR.

The concert was held to raise money for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. The Foundation raises money to aid cancer education and to provide mammograms for impoverished people in central and southern New Jersey.

Impending thunderstorms moved the concert indoors, but the dreary weather did not dampen the event’s high spirits and message of hope. The inside of the lounge was lined with booths and tables laden with baked goods, prizes and information for women and men about self-screening for breast and testicular cancer.

The pairing of entertainment and information was created to get students aware and involved, according to Brittany Slusarczyk, junior English secondary education major.

“We wanted something more fun and interactive instead of just throwing information at (the students),” she said.

The first performers, Cat and Vinnie, consisted of Cat Cosentino, junior communication studies major, and Vinnie DiNardo, Cosentino’s uncle. DiNardo played acoustic guitar and harmonica and also sang, while Cosentino switched between tambourine and acoustic guitar. Their songs ranged from toe-tapping country stomps and ballads to a few slow-burning folk songs.

The band Whiskey Shark took the stage next. The band consisted of Sean Bailey, junior philosophy major, on vocals, Gus Aponte, senior criminology and justice studies major, on drums, Matt Ross, senior biology secondary education major, on rhythm guitar, Travis Torsky, College alumnus, on lead guitar, Jake Miller-Hoesly, College graduate student, on bass and Dave Schuster, junior business major, on keyboard.

Whiskey Shark cranked out a set list of classic rock covers from the Beatles, Steppenwolf and Black Sabbath, managing to get heads nodding and toes tapping.

After those musical acts, Becky Gabriele addressed the crowd. Gabriele is a breast cancer survivor and a member of the board of directors for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.

She advised the crowd, “Be your own advocate,” and take precautions to catch cancer early.

Gabriele said, “Life is about what gets thrown at you, and how you move around those curves.”

Following her speech, the student a capella group, Itunes, took to the stage to perform some recent radio hits and ’90s throwbacks. Judging from the cheers, there were clearly many fans in the audience.

College alumnus John Dutton closed the show with Eric Paulsen, another College alumnus, on djembe and Chris Tjattas on percussion and background vocals. Julia Carey, senior deaf education major, accompanied Dutton on backing vocals, making for an eclectic mix.

Despite the rainy weather, the event remained positive and hopeful in the search for a cure.