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Husky Records hosts festival to 'Save the Music'

By Kathleen McWilliams
On April 16, 2012

  • “A.E. The Illusive,” also known as Aaron Eaddy, a 4th-semester electrical engineering major, on the main stage of Husky Record’s UConnaroo. The festival took place on the Student Union quad Sunday afternoon. JESS CONDON/The Daily Campus

As if a gift from the gods, Husky Records welcomed a gorgeous sunny and warm afternoon for their second annual UConnaroo, a music festival hosted in honor of VH1's Save the Music Foundation. The charity focuses on funding instrumental music education in schools across the nation and raises awareness about the importance of music in a child's education. To date the charity has raised $48 million dollars in musical instruments and sent them to 1800 schools nationwide.

This year's festival was hosted on the Student Union quad and featured an inflatable slide, a dunk tank, a rave tent with electronic music performances, and the main stage. Performances began at 12 p.m after some technical difficulties with an introduction by dynamic and enthusiastic master of ceremonies Michael McKiernan and Sean Corrigan. After the introduction were poetry readings from Mikhail Gilbert and Sydney Porter of UConn's slam poetry team. Following the poets' emotional and expressive performances were a lineup of acoustic acts, ranging from Charlie Crow's jaunty rendition of folk artist Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason" to Alexis Medina's vocal mash up of popular favorites, such as Rhianna's "We Found Love."

Although the opening acts performed to a nearly empty audience, students woke up and flocked outside to enjoy the beautiful weather gravitating to the bombastic noises and merriment coming from behind the union. Not many students were in attendance, but those who were exhibited a passionate and energetic attitude towards the performers. Of the spectators was eighth semester Sociology and Environmental Justice major Brenna Regan who was impressed with the acts and their social consciousness. "I think that it's really cool that there are so many local acts and student groups coming together in one place. It's really important to support them because they're just as good as mainstream acts and sometimes have more meaningful messages, they spin social consciousness."

Hip Hop artist Blackistan, was one of the artists that stressed social justice, especially for the Trayvon Martin case and sexual assault victims. UConn slam poet, Sydney Porter, also stressed consciousness in her poem "Hey Baby" which sought to break down stereotypes against women and chastised certain men for their treatment and portrayal of women.

UConnaroo was not all serious issues and social advocacy; many artists chose a more light hearted path singing about love and friendship or paying tribute to their favorite musical acts. Rap performer Reese Nice said that UConnaroo was "good exposure because of all the people walking by and stopping and good practice." Slam poet Steph Blaznik, or S Blaze, agreed saying that the experience "gives you an actual stage." UConnaroo founder UConn graduate Matt Trivigno was optimistic about this year's fundraising saying that "last year we got $10,000 from Husky Records, $10,000 from UCTV and $10,000 from WHUS, vendors, and people who pay to come to the event." With the performers and audience content as they were, UConnaroo's final numbers undoubtedly will come out just as high if not higher than the previous year.

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