Rider Pep band hosts benefit concert for Trenton Music Makers

By Amethyst Martinez

Despite a non-traditional year due to COVID-19, Rider’s Pep Band hosted a virtual benefit concert on April 16 with all of the proceeds going to the music education school, Trenton Music Makers.

All performances were by Rider groups, alumni and current Rider students, with seven acts in attendance. The performances included singing, tap dancing and a musical number by the pep band, all while adhering to social distancing rules.

The pep band chose to raise money for the Trenton Music Makers, who provide musical education to children in the urban area of Trenton.

“We wanted to use a musical school (for donations) since we are a Pep Band and music is our life,” said senior elementary education major Pamela D’Addato, Rider Pep Band’s equipment manager.

Among the performers at the event were the Rider Pep Band themselves, Moon Motel Records, AM Reflection, sophomore musical theater major Tiffany Beckford and sophomore pop music major Alex Lathon, Rider Cheer, Unashamed Gospel Choir and sophomore marine science major McKaela Jones.

“We had a bunch of ideas of who we wanted to have perform at the concert. We wanted a nice variety: a little bit of performance, instrumental and voice, but I think we found a nice mix,” said D’Addato.

Alumni Alex Murphy and Ethan Lane helped put together the virtual benefit concert months after creating their virtual concert for their band, AM Reflection. “I actually started a media company with my friend, and I asked if the pep band needed help,” said Murphy.

Murphy and Lane mixed and mastered the entire event, which premiered on Youtube.

“Ethan and Alex did a phenomenal job… it looks really amazing,” said D’Addato.

Murphy was also one of the founders of the pep band during his time at Rider and still contributes to the campus community frequently.

“I really enjoyed my time at Rider. I had one of the best experiences that I could’ve had, and whenever I can give back and help is amazing,” said Murphy.

Luckily, although COVID-19 posed setbacks to events such as concerts, virtual concerts have now become the new normal for bands and groups.

“The benefit is completely virtual, some of the videos were taken before COVID[19], some taken around two weeks ago,” said D’Addato.

It’s been a tough year for the pep band when it comes to performing, due to the pandemic, but the benefit is prerecorded and abides by coronavirus guidelines.

“It’s been very difficult keeping members involved and keeping all members invested in their instruments [during COVID]. We have been trying very hard to be together in a Zoom setting. It’s been hard, but we’ve been managing and we have a good following and a good amount of members who are still invested and who want to come back, hopefully in the future in person,” said D’Addato.

Despite the difficulties presented due to COVID-19, the pep band continues to perform and practice virtually until things reach normality again.

Despite it already premiering, the virtual benefit concert can still be viewed on the Rider Pep Band Youtube channel.

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