May 31, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 56°F


Concert proceeds to go to downtown music charity

Since most budgets for student organizations don’t roll over with the academic year, the Bureau of Concerts knew it had to spend the money earned from its two nearly sold-out shows this year — or lose it. Enter Say Anything, Jedi Mind Tricks and Emerson B, the line up for this Sunday’s $5 show.

Posters for the concert went up late last week, but senior Chris Wilson, BOC executive director, said he isn’t worried about the turnout.

“I know that people are talking about it; it’s all over Facebook,” Wilson said. “We have other colleges that are contacting us about it. We’re getting e-mails everyday. We are selling tickets … at a good rate.”

The profit from the more than 2,000 seats available in the Ben Light Gymnasium won’t go back to BOC, or the college for that matter. Since BOC cannot keep the money for next year, the organization decided to keep ticket prices cheap and give the proceeds to charity.

Wilson said BOC wanted to choose a charity that involved music but also wanted to keep things local. So it chose the Community School of Music and Arts in downtown Ithaca, an organization that offers year-round education in art, dance, theater, language arts and music.

Robin Tropper-Herbel, executive director of CSMA, said the school has never previously partnered with BOC, to her knowledge, and the phone call announcing the charitable intentions was completely unexpected.

“It was a really pleasant surprise. We just found out, oh, less than two weeks ago, that they had selected us to be the beneficiary, and we’re just delighted,” she said. “It sounds like a good fit with [BOC’s] interest in music as well as ours.”

The end-of-the-year concert was originally scheduled as an outdoor show, but circumstances forced BOC to change its plans. After securing the gym at the last minute, BOC then had to decide how to spend its money. Wilson said the organization was considering spending all the money on one large act but decided to follow a different route.

“We were looking at just one act that costs more than all the acts we have right now,” Wilson said. “We thought it would be a little bit cooler to do something for everybody and still actually end up saving some money.”

So instead, BOC booked Say Anything, Jedi Mind Tricks and local act Emerson B. Say Anything will appease indie rockers, while Jedi Mind Tricks adds a heavier political hip-hop vibe to the night. To bolster Ithaca’s local music scene, Wilson said Emerson B will be joined on stage by members of The Rozatones, Thousands of One, and Jsan and the Analogue Sons.

“We’re trying to get people to maybe see an act that they wouldn’t normally see … if you were paying $25,” he said. “But for five bucks, you might come and go as you please, and hopefully you’ll see a band you would never normally see.”

Max Bemis, singer of Say Anything, said the band has played with hip-hop groups at festivals but never as part of one show. He said he likes Jedi Mind Tricks, though.

“There should be more — ideally in the world — stuff like that … it’s not just people relegated to playing with bands that sound like them or that people think sound like them,” he said.

In addition to saving money by not booking one bigger band, BOC was also able to plan an amped-up stage show, Wilson said.

“Wait until you see the lights and the fog and everything we got going on; it’s going to blow your mind,” he said.

Now that the money has been spent, BOC is looking forward to raising money for the CSMA. Wilson said the bands know about the charity plan and are “completely on board.”

Bemis said though the band dealt with BOC through a booking agent, it is still supportive of the charity idea.

“Obviously I think it’s great,” he said. “You’d have to be a crazy … not [to].”

Tropper-Herbel said the money may go to one of the school’s scholarship programs, but as long as BOC doesn’t object, the donation will most likely fund general needs at CSMA.

“It benefits the school even more to keep it unrestricted,” she said. “It’s nice to point out that one of [our] programs is a scholarship program because it’s so fundamental to our mission to make sure that we’re accessible to all community members, regardless of their socio-economic background.”

If Sunday’s show brings in 2,000 audience members, the CSMA will receive $10,000. Even if it doesn’t hit those numbers, Wilson still feels good about the use of the show’s revenue.

“We’re still going to have something great to give to the CSMA,” he said.

Emerson B, Jedi Mind Tricks and Say Anything will perform at 7 p.m. Sunday in the Ben Light Gymnasium. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased in the Student Activities Center in Campus Center today, at a table in the North Foyer of Campus Center tomorrow or at the door Sunday.