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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Rock to Remember: students host annual benefit concert online

Shishira Philip ’22 is performing on the second night of Rock to Remember on April 30. PHOTO COURTESY OF SHISHIRA PHILIP

Nick Shisler ’21 will headline the first night of Rock to Remember, an annual benefit concert run by St. Joe’s students.

The concert, which will take place from 8-10 p.m. on April 29 and 30, will be held on Zoom because of COVID-19 restrictions. The tickets are pay-as-you-can prices, ranging from $2 to $10. Admission includes access to both nights.

Proceeds will benefit HawkHUB, the university’s food and basic needs resource center.

Shisler will perform songs from his new extended play “Handful,” followed by performances from the duo The Attire. The second night features performances from Shira, MatRAD and Ionika

Students in Entertainment Marketing, a course taught by Janée Burkhalter, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing, have been fully responsible for planning and executing the concert, according to Mariana Ruiz ’21, a student in the class.

“We choose the artists,” Ruiz said. “We choose the date and time, how we’re going to raise money and how we’re going to sell tickets. The only thing that’s chosen for us is who we’re giving the money to.”

In 2012, Burkhalter created the course that handles the annual concert.

“Every year I identify a regional nonprofit organization for the students to support through their work,” Burkhalter said.

This year’s organization is close to home. 

“I chose HawkHUB because I wanted to help bring awareness to an on-campus organization and because I thought it might be more manageable for the class to have a hyperlocal client,” Burkhalter said.

The class’s fundraising includes posting Venmo boards on social media, asking local businesses for donations and promoting ticket sales, according to Hadley Champe ’22, a member of the fundraising committee. 

Olivia Clark ’22, treasurer of HawkHUB, said the organization is grateful to be the recipient of this year’s proceeds.

“Opening in the midst of a pandemic, we were extremely concerned about the need for a facility like HawkHUB,” Clark said. “Having such an important event like Rock to Remember contributing to this fundraising need is going to be extremely impactful for the future of HawkHUB and for its longevity.” 

As of April 26, Rock to Remember had raised $390 for HawkHUB, Clark said.  

Since this year’s concert is virtual, the class didn’t have to budget for a venue and could provide more donations directly to HawkHUB, according to Emily Dunn ’22, a member of the marketing class. Plus, none of the performers are charging a fee.

“They’re doing it either for the exposure for themselves or because they’re interested in the cause,” Dunn said.

Diversity was also an important factor for the class when sourcing performers for the concert, Ruiz said. 

“A lot of students opted to look out for artists that were diverse in their music, in their culture and in their portrayal,” Ruiz said. “We are speaking to artists that are strictly R&B. We are speaking to artists that only sing Spanish. We are speaking to St. Joe’s students and people from out of the SJU community. We’re trying to purposefully involve a lot of people from different aspects so that everyone can enjoy at least some part of it.”

Trying to plan a virtual concert in the midst of a pandemic has added challenges to the class’s efforts, according to Julia Grundfast ’22, a student in the class.

“Every single year that they’ve done this, it’s always been in person,” Grundfast said. “Trying to get everyone to move on to a virtual platform is definitely going to be a challenge, but it’s something that’s worth pursuing.”

Despite the challenges, hosting Rock to Remember virtually has a far bigger reach, Ruiz said. The virtual webinar grants more people access to the concert than a physical space could allow.

Ruiz said she is excited to see the end result of the class’s work.

“It’s definitely a bit daunting,” Ruiz said. “But I think that working and knowing that we’re doing something for the greater good makes it a lot easier and worth it. I think that this cause is incredible. We do our part to make this organization known and to help out is extremely rewarding.”


Tickets to the event can be purchased through SJU Ticketing. HawkHUB is accepting direct donations through Venmo @HawkHub. More information about the event and where to donate can be found on Instagram @rocktoremember.

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