July 3, 2022

Live performance fundraises for scholarships, authorized solutions

Todd “Parney” Parnell, chief coordinating officer of the Richmond Traveling Squirrels, conducts Jazz Orchestra I during the Jazz4Justice live performance. Picture by Alessandro Latour

Gabriela de Camargo Gonçalves, Spectrum Editor

The viewers roared in applause as a new instrument smoothly began to perform. Heads bopped subconsciously throughout distinctive songs and a collective unhappy sigh sounded when the conductor announced the previous song of the night had arrived.

Sanika Pingulkar, audience member and sophomore biology student, attended her initially “Jazz4Justice” live performance in assist of her boyfriend on Thursday at the Sonia Vlahcevic Live performance Corridor, situated in VCU’s Singleton Centre.

“I consider it’s seriously awesome, and they’re raising funds for receiving authorized expert services for a great deal of distinctive people,” Pingulkar said. “That’s an crucial induce, and the lawful world has mashed into the new music entire world this way.”

VCUarts Audio and Increased Richmond Bar Foundation, or GRBF, arrived with each other for its eighth annual partnership for J4J, which is a collaborative hard work to increase revenue by way of donations and ticket revenue for legal support and audio scholarships.

GRBF is a lawful support business that connects lawyers to circumstances wherever they can volunteer their time, in accordance to GRBF’s Director of Administration and Packages Shane Harper.

Harper reported VCU’s J4J concerts have elevated “at least” $150,000 for the cause in overall since its inception in 2015.

The live performance was a fundraiser which immediately after costs donated 50 percent the proceeds to GRBF’s pro bono initiatives, and the other 50 percent went to Jazz Experiments scholarships, according to Antonio García, the director for J4J scholarships and Jazz Orchestra I director. 

García said he and the college handpick five college students to acquire 50% of the night’s cash.

“The J4J scholarship is quite critical to me mainly because it indicates I can dedicate much more time to my craft and significantly less time to working,” saxophonist and scholarship recipient Nathan Fussell mentioned in his scholarship remark. “This will certainly assist me in the course of my senior 12 months in this system.”

García claimed J4J has collaborated with lots of universities across Virginia, but said VCU’s differs in the number of ensembles, simply because the college has two “big” bands, a vocal group and a combo of college students who gained scholarships. García claimed the concert will take a good deal of preparing since the performers are “never in the very same place together.”

When the choir came on, the audience had to guess who was singing which part simply because of masks the performers were being putting on. The attractive harmonies blended jointly have been very little short of angelic. 

Yet another variation unique to VCU’s J4J is the invitation of a visitor conductor. García claimed J4J have experienced a variety of distinct people — some from the authorized community, a politician, a meteorologist and a mayor. This 12 months was no exception as Todd “Parney” Parnell, the vice president and main functioning officer of the Richmond’s slight league baseball group, the Traveling Squirrels, visitor done for J4J.

The Flying Squirrels’ mascot cheered on Parnell’s phase entrance. Parnell wore a St. Patrick’s Working day-themed established of pants and shirt with a sparkly rainbow blazer. He applied a baseball bat as his conducting baton and danced all through the complete number, building the audience chuckle all over. García reported there were being no prior rehearsals with the Flying Squirrels.

García reported the tunes decided on was oriented specifically toward the idea of social justice or equality, which was not a “stretch” for the reason that jazz and social justice have historical past “hand-in-hand.” 

“Even if the piece itself isn’t automatically waving a social justice flag, it’s [the music] however highlighting a person who has that voice,” García explained.

The live performance bundled new music from a plethora of different artists, this sort of as Oliver Nelson, Archie Shepp, Michael Jackson and more. 

“Jazz musicians have often written music in celebration of human legal rights or in protest of injustice, segregation and racism for a hundred many years now,” García claimed. “There is a library of music that has been expressive from the Jazz musicians literature about lifestyle in the earth and the United States in any provided group.”


CORRECTION: An previously model of this article improperly mentioned a resources title as Sanika Pinpulkar. Her title is Sanika Pingulkar. The write-up improperly stated that the live performance highlighted Standard Grant’s new music. It did not characteristic an artist by that identify.