Sacred Heart Dance Company Presents “Fall/Rise”

Sacred Heart’s Dance Program presented their show “Fall/Rise” to represent the obstacles and successes of the Dance Program. Photo by Ryan Touhey/Spectrum.

By Lauren Finan

Staff Reporter

Sacred Heart University’s Dance Company performed their spring semester showcase on April 21 and 22 in the Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts. The name of the production, “Fall/Rise,” portrayed the obstacles and successes that the dance company has gone through.

The music the performers danced to ranged from R&B, instrumental, to hip-hop.

The costumes had a large variety such as leggings paired with a tank top with a plaid shirt tied around their waists to traditional salsa dresses.

“I liked how none of the costumes were identical for a selected performance. Each dancer had a different variation of the simple idea the director wanted,” said junior
Brittany Joseph. “For example, no single dancer had the same color as another but it would be the same style of clothing.”

Around 75 students and family members were in the audience to support the 50 active members in the dance company.

Junior Rosilita Cormier has been a member since her freshmen year in 2014. She performed in two dance numbers in the production.

“My favorite dance in the show is my duo with my best friend, Alexa Tricairo. Alexa and I have been dancing together since our freshman year here at Sacred Heart University,” said Cormier. “We have been members of the Hip-Hop Crew, Competition Hip-Hop Crew, and the Dance Company.”

Cormier said that this would be her and Tricairo’s first opportunity to show off their abilities as they have choreographed their dance piece independently.

“The Unforgiven” began the second act of the production. This particular dance number had a live piano performance as well as a live painter. The painter painted the solo dancer while she was performing.

“I thought the solo dance routine accompanied by the pianist was a great way to draw the audience to unique music,” said Joseph.

The dance member’s auditioned for the performance in December. When returning for spring semester in January, they officially began to practice. Each dance routine would practice for an hour and fifteen minutes once a week.

“I am in two dance routines. The first is ballet and the second is a more modern contemporary number,” said senior Olivia Druckery.

This production is Druckery’s last performance at Sacred Heart. She was most excited about this show because it is her final performance with all the girls that she
started the company with.

The dance company was formed when Druckery was a freshman and she has seen the program evolve firsthand.

This production was to showcase all that the program had to overcome to be where they are today.

“We started it four years ago and it is amazing to see where the company is headed,” said Druckery.

At intermission, the program had the audience view a film that introduced the senior girls who have been with the dance company since the beginning.

“I thought they did an outstanding job and always made me want to see what the next performance was going to be like,” said Joseph.

The 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards

By Cindy Sanawong

Staff Reporter

The 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards will be held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sunday, May 7.

Each year, this award ceremony recognizes the best in film and television. All of the categories and nominees are chosen by MTV’s producers and executives and then the general public votes online for who they want to win.

This year’s host is American actor, comedian, singer, screenwriter and producer, Adam DeVine. He is known for productions such as “Pitch Perfect” and Comedy Central’s “Workaholics.” This will be his first time hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards.

“I think Adam DeVine will do Adam DeFine,” said junior Eddie Feeley.

Before the ceremony, the MTV Movie & TV Awards Festival will feature live performances from artists such as All Time Low, Zara Larsson and Bea Miller. Tickets are available for the public to attend the festival and it will also be streamed live on

For this 26th edition of the award ceremony, changes have been made.

Formerly known as the “MTV Movie Awards,” this year’s show marks the first time that the ceremony celebrates both films and television shows.

Gender-specific award categories have also been removed and actors are now merged into one category, such as “Best Actor in a Movie” and “Best Actor in a Show.”

Daniel Kaluuya, Emma Watson, Hailee Steinfeld, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy and Taraji P. Henson are all nominated for “Best Actor in a Movie,” and Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, Gina Rodriguez, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Mandy Moore and Millie Bobby Brown are nominated for “Best Actor in a Movie.”

The two big awards of the night are “Movie of the Year” and “Show of the Year.”

“Movie of the Year” nominees include: “Beauty and the Beast,” “Get Out,” “Logan,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” and “The Edge of Seventeen.”

“‘The Edge of Seventeen’ should win ‘Movie of the Year’ because the plot is very relatable and the acting is superb,” said junior Thayrone Veloso.

“Beauty and the Beast” is nominated for four awards; just under “Get Out,” which is nominated for seven.

“I’m the biggest Disney fan in the world and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is my favorite,” said freshman Shannon Fleming. “This deserves ‘Movie of the Year.’ The story is so old and so original, you can’t not love it.”

“Show of the Year” nominees include: “Atlanta,” “Game of Thrones,” “Insecure,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “Stranger Things,” and “This Is Us.”

“‘This Is Us’ should win ‘Show of the Year,’” said senior Danielle Tenney. “I loved the message and the real life relationships and complications the family goes through to tell a great story.”

Other categories include: “Best Kiss,” “Best Villain,” “Best Host,” “Best Documentary,” “Best Reality Competition,” “Best Comedic Performance,” “Best Hero,” “Tearjerker,” “Next Generation,” “Best Duo,” “Best American Story” and “Best Fight Against the System.”

Which movies and TV shows will take home the “golden popcorn?” You can tune in on Sunday, May 7 at 8 p.m. to find out.

The Fourth Annual Jobimfest

The Sacred Heart University Academic Music Program presented the 4th annual Jobimfest, celebrating the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim, on April 19, 2017, in the Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts. Joe Carter and the Brazilian Jazz All Stars played the music of acclaimed Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. Photo by Mark F. Conrad/Sacred Heart University.

By Stephanie Pettway

Staff Reporter

Sacred Heart University’s Academic Music Program presented their fourth annual Jobimfest on Wednesday, April 19 in the Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts.

The festival celebrates the music of Brazilian songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, pianist and guitarist, Antonio Carlos Jobim. Director of Academic Music Programs and Professor Joseph Carter performed alongside the Brazilian Jazz All-Stars as they paid tribute to Jobim.

“I love Jobim’s music. It all started when I researched more of his music based on two songs,” said Carter. “I came to realize there was so much within this one composer that I felt he would be a good person to expose others to.”

Jobimfest began with the performance of the first song, “Piano na Mangueira” (Piano in Mangueira). After finishing the song, Carter introduced the band.

Carter played the guitar, Tim Moran played the saxophone, Hendrik Meurkens played the harmonica and vibes, David Fink played the bass and Adriano Santos was on the drums and percussion set.

“When preparing for this concert, I knew that these musicians would work well together. They would understand the music, though we wouldn’t be able to rehearse together due to logistics,” said Carter. “However, I knew they would be able to quickly assess the material during sound check and be able to perform it on a high level.”

As the show continued, Carter mentioned that the lyrics for the songs “O Morro Nao Tem Vez” (The Hill Has No Chance) and “O Amor Em Paz” (Love in Peace) could be found in the program. He said that Jobim wrote lyrics that were multifaceted and similar to poetry.

Jobim composed around 600 songs in his lifetime, so Carter had many options when he had to decide which songs to perform.

“There are so many to choose from that sometimes it’s not which to choose but which not to choose. His compositions are so varied, as far as genre, that I try to pick different types in variety,” said Carter.

Many of the students in the audience were from Carter’s Latin American music classes, so they were familiar with Jobim’s work since they learned about him during the Brazilian period.

Some students were pleased to see their professor perform, especially the specific songs that were discussed in class. They could see the passion that he had from class transfer to the stage.

“I liked seeing Professor Carter play. I have him for my Latin American music class, where he played some of the songs to the class,” said freshman Erin Perotta. “The class is interesting because it is something that you don’t normally learn, so it’s completely new for me. He’s also very passionate about what he teaches and it makes it easy to focus and listen in class.”

Even some students who aren’t Carter’s students were pleased with the festival.

“I enjoyed the performance considering it isn’t something I would have gone to on my own. I came with a friend who came for the class, but I ended up liking it,” said
sophomore Deanna Scalzo.

Jobim was the primary source force behind the creation of the Bossa Nova style, a genre of Brazilian music. He left many songs that are currently included in jazz and pop standard collections and many of his works are played by Brazilian and international artists today.

“He is, in my opinion, the most important and influential Brazilian composer of the 20th century,” said Carter. “He’s the person that contributed the most to the development of Brazilian music in all its forms.”

SHU L.O.V.E. Celebrates Women

The Sacred Heart University Choral Program hosted “A Celebration of Women” on April 22, 2017, performed by SHU LOVE, the ladies-only vocal ensemble. Photo by Christopher Zajac/Sacred Heart University.

By Julius Brown

Staff Reporter

On Saturday, April 22 Sacred Heart University’s Ladies-Only Vocal Ensemble, or SHU L.O.V.E., presented “A Celebration of Women” for their Pops Concert. The Edgerton Theatre was the stage for creative expression and celebration of women.

“This whole performance is to let women know that they are not alone, and actually surrounded by support,” said Anna DeVeau-Jaibert, director of SHU L.O.V.E..

SHU L.O.V.E. performed a wide variety of powerful female centric songs. From the soft gentle cadences of “Songbird,” to the strong and determined chorus of “I Will Survive/Survivor.” The celebration of women and women’s rights resonated on stage at every point of the performance.

“Shout out to the SHU choir for acknowledging the power of women,” said junior Winnie Victor.

Along with celebrating women, the concert also served to celebrate the ensembles Director, DeVeai-Jialbert. Members of SHU L.O.V.E. appreciate the amount of awareness that DeValue-Jailbert has brought to women’s rights through the ensemble.

“Anna has just done so much to support and help with empowering women on this campus through this ensemble,” said graduate student April Jauregui. “She also made it more than just a SHU thing, she has made women’s rights a point in the community, by inviting the actual community.”

Also, a part of the SHU L.O.V.E. celebration was a foundation from the surrounding community. A dance performance by the Anacaona Enrichment Program’s all women dance team was included into the celebration of women. The event provided a positive environment for girls and women from all walks of life to feel acknowledged.

“The entire performance was just filled with great energy. The energy along with the great message felt very inspiring and empowering,” said sophomore and SHU L.O.V.E. soprano Stephanie Doheny.

Accompanying the tones of the ensemble were stern and direct lyrics of equality and women’s suffrage. Powerful classics like Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” and Sigourney Truth’s “Ain’t I A Woman” symbolize the fight that women continue to fight every day.

“Women have gone through a lot in 2016, and 2017 looks to be interesting, but we continue on,” said DeVeau-Jailbert.

Unity and equality were reoccurring concepts throughout the night. Male audience members, whether loved ones or just students, were also in attendance to support the female centric event.

“I am glad to see that the importance of women’s rights is so heavily acknowledged here at SHU, it shows that actual difference can be made,” said senior Christiano Lopes.

SHU L.O.V.E. continued their performance with multiple soloist sections that allowed for select singers to flex their vocals.

“It just felt great to step out in front of that audience to send that message of empowerment, all through my voice,” said sophomore soloist Maria Ogundolani.

Other sections of the performance included a duet from SHU L.O.V.E. members Wendy Estavien and Meredith Conroy who performed Beyoncé’s “If I Were A Boy.”

The sequence of songs culminated in a soulful performance of “I’m Every Woman.” Audience members cheered and clapped at the huge show of support and acknowledgment for women.

“This whole night just felt right, this is how we should celebrate each other as women. Girl Power,” said Ogundolani.

“13 Reasons Why” Premieres on Netflix

Dylan Minnette, Exec. Producer Selena Gomez and Katherine Langford seen at Netflix ’13 Reasons Why’ Premiere at Paramount Studios on Thursday, March 30, 2017, in Los Angeles, CA. Photo by Eric Charbonneau/AP.

By Cindy Sanawong

Staff Reporter

“Get a snack, settle in. Because I’m about to tell you the story of my life. Or more specifically, why my life ended,” said lead female character Hannah Baker in the first episode of Netflix original series, “13 Reasons Why.”

That is exactly what Netflix enthusiasts did during the premiere of “13 Reasons Why” on Friday, March 3.

The series is based on the 2007 Jay Asher novel which was listed on The New York Times Best Seller’s list of young adult novels in 2011.

Created by Brian Yorkey, the show deals with sensitive issues of suicide, bullying, sexual assault, anxiety and depression.

“I like the book better than the TV show,” said junior Samantha Bartol. “Both of them are good in the fact that they show the importance of being kind to one another. And they also have feminist themes, which I think is really important to be talking about right now.”

The show centers on the life and death of Baker. She is a junior at Liberty High School and commits suicide because of 13 different reasons. These reasons are then explained to each of the characters who had influenced the end of her life.

The explanation of her death was passed on through a mysterious box that appeared on the main male character, Clay Jensen’s doorstep. In the box are 13 recorded cassette tapes that Baker recorded before she died.

These cassettes were Baker’s personal diary accounts of her traumatic high school life, experiences that she went through and the reasons why she ended her life, which are revealed on the tape.

The tapes reveal several other characters, including her former friends Jessica Davis and Alex Standall. Even Baker’s close friend, Jensen, is mentioned in one of her recordings.

Every person included in the cassette tapes were a huge contributing factor to why Baker commits suicide.

“I’m in the middle of the show right now and I’m looking forward to seeing how Clay was involved in Hannah’s death because he’s a main character and I feel like the show will take a major twist when he gets to Hannah’s tape about him,” said senior Tom Spierto.

Baker pinpoints the start to her life’s downhill spiral when she went on a date with her first high school crush, Justin Foley. They went to the park and she had her first kiss. The date seemed fun and innocent, but what she didn’t know was that her date had taken an unflattering picture of her. He showed it to one of his friends and his friend then posted the picture all over social media.

Baker’s high school peers attacked her by body shaming her and they made a list that went around the school. She was also cyber bullied and guys sexually harassed her by treating her as a sexual object, rather than treating her as a human being.

This was only the start of her torment.

As high school goes on, more events take place with different students adding to her pain.

For Baker, she felt that her life and high school reputation were in complete shambles and felt that there was no way out.

She takes her own life in the ending episodes by slitting her wrists in a bathtub where her parents find her.

Her parents play a big role in the series by pursuing a lawsuit against the high school for not doing anything about bullying. The end of the season shows her parents getting to listen to the tapes and finally understanding why their daughter took her own life.

American actress and singer Selena Gomez was one of the executive producers for the show. She and two of the cast members, Alisha Boe and Tommy Dorfman, got matching tattoos of a black semicolon, which represent mental health awareness and suicide prevention.

The story sheds light on how it’s okay to ask for help before something serious and tragic happens, as in Baker’s case.

“I can’t stop watching it,” said junior Nina Miglio. “To relate to each character is a powerful feeling and I think they nailed that aspect. I hope they make more seasons.”

Literary Spring: Jilly Gagnon

By Stephanie Pettway

Staff Reporter

On April 6 in the Art and Design Gallery, Sacred Heart University’s English Department hosted comedy and young adult author Jilly Gagnon for their Literary Spring.

The Literary Spring showcases established authors. Guests then speak about their journey as a writer, their works and also read a small number of passages from their
published writings.

Gagnon presented her young adult fiction novel, “#famous,” and her adult comedy book, “Choose Your Own Misery: The Office,” co-written with Mike MacDonald.

Another one of her books within that series is titled “Choose Your Own Misery: The Holidays.”

“I didn’t think I was going to write neither comedy or young adult fiction,” said Gagnon. “But I did know, once I got to college, that I was going to at least write books.”

Gagnon spoke about how she got to where she was, with her currently being a full-time writer in Chicago. She said it’s like always having an essay due and you are your own professor.

She also talked about the difficulties she had to face trying to get her first book published, such as finding an agent. She explained how one must become comfortable with getting rejected, yet still have the drive to want to keep pursuing what they are passionate about.

After telling the audience her background, she gave a brief description of her novel, “#famous.” The story is based off of Alex From Target, a teenage boy who became a
Twitter sensation after a picture taken of him went viral.

Following the same premise, the novel tells the story of a girl named Rachel who tweets a picture of a cute boy named Kyle which then quickly goes viral. The story is told in both the perspectives of Rachel and Kyle and how they deal with the events that occur once Kyle gains fame.

The other book she spoke about was “Choose Your Own Misery: The Office,” which is based off the book series, “Choose Your Own Adventure,” by Edward Packard.

The book allows the reader to decide how the story pans out based on the options given. Gagnon states that the book follows “the constant misery of working in an office.”

Combined with humor and reliability, Gagnon’s voice allows her to connect with a wide demographic. It is also a reason why she liked writing personal essays for magazines.

“I think my strength as a writer is my voice. I like to put my own imprint on what I am writing,” said Gagnon.

During the presentation, she delivered humor with jokes to transition between topics, which had those in attendance laughing.

“I loved how funny she was,” said freshman Ashley Penczynzyn. “She was incredibly engaging.”

Some of the audience members included students from a creative writing class at Sacred Heart. Many of them liked what Gagnon had to say and now consider reading her works.

“I enjoyed her sense of humor. Makes me definitely want to pick up one of her ‘Choose Your Own Misery’ books,” said junior Dayne Kepler.

When she opened for a question and answer session at the end of the presentation, she offered advice to inspiring writers.

“I think it is great to do something different,” said Gagnon. “Sometimes we get stuck on a project we are working on, so it helps to change gears to get your mind going. But what you don’t want to do is stop writing when you get stuck.”

Department of Catholic Studies Presents “Silence”

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Andrew Garfield, left, and Shinya Tsukamoto in a scene from “Silence.” Photo by Kerry Brown/AP.

By Lauren Finan

Staff Reporter

The 2016 historical period drama film, “Silence,” was presented in the Schine Auditorium on Sunday, April 2 as part of the Department of Catholic Studies’ Film Series. The film stars Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson and Adam Driver.

Put together by Professor Elizabeth Piliero, about 20 students and faculty were in attendance and potato chips and popcorn were offered alongside Pepsi soda products in the Schine lobby.

“I believe the event was a success. There was a big turn out and I was thrilled that students and faculty attended,” said Piliero.

Directed by Martin Scorsese, “Silence” takes place in Japan during 1633. Two Portuguese Catholic Priests, Sebastao Rodrigues and Francisco Garupe, travel to Japan in search of Father Cristovão Ferreira.

The film displays how Father Rodrigues and Father Garupe’s faith are constantly being tested in dangerous situations daily.

“The movie was about a man’s journey into converting people into Christianity through his struggles, pitfalls and letdowns along the way,” said sophomore Sarah Cota. “Father Rodrigues does not let a lot of things stop him. However, at the end he ends up dying which is a disappointment throughout the whole movie.”

Rodrigues was portrayed by Garfield. Throughout the film, the audience witnessed his fear of being captured by the Japanese who were in the process of purging everyone and anyone who practiced the Catholic faith.

“Silence” was originally a novel published in 1966, authored by Shusaku Endo.

“My CIT [Catholic Intellectual Tradition] class had just finished reading the novel and it was perfect timing in the semester to have the event,” said Piliero. “I thought the film brought the novel to life and allowed the students to see an artistic expression of what they read.”

Cota was interested in viewing the film after she read the novel in class.

“I liked the depictions of the characters portrayed in the movie and how it showed the viewer a scene of how one’s faith can influence their actions,” said Cota. “His powerful and strong willed actions made the main character very noble and kept me interested throughout his pitfalls.”

Catholic Studies Professor Daniel Rober said that “Silence” deals with the Catholic themes that are discussed in the CIT courses.

“The film is important because it brings forward concerns from the Catholic Intellectual Tradition in a mainstream movie,” said Rober. “Most importantly of all though, it is a film that ought to raise questions for people about what they would do in the situation faced by the characters in it.”

“Silence” portrays how to find God while enduring suffering. Father Rodrigues was battling hardship while speaking to God asking for strength, as well as questioning why him and the other Catholics had to suffer.

“I thought the movie was very realistic in the way that the character’s portrayed themselves,” said Cota. “Specifically, the scene with three people on the cross over the ocean was very realistic and powerful in its portrayal of Christianity in the movie.”

Welcoming David Ibarra From ESPN

By Julius Brown

Staff Reporter

Sacred Heart University’s Art & Design Department welcomed ESPN Graphic Designer David Ibarra and Art Director Bob Bates for their 25th Art & Design Expo in the Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, April 6.

The pair of designers informed Sacred Heart students about the professional world of graphic design and how art and media come together in harmony. Being a Sacred Heart alum, Ibarra was eager to share his knowledge.

“This whole experience is very gratifying, I never really had this type of resource attending SHU. It’s nice to come back to my alma mater and communicate what I do,” said Ibarra.

Students listened about what goes into creating graphics for a big name corporation such as ESPN.

Both Ibarra and Bates spoke about their good and challenging experiences in making graphics for programs such as the Little League World Series, the 2016 Rio Olympics, and Mike & Mike in the Morning.

“We are not graphic designers, we are problem solvers,” said Ibarra.

The two guests went into detail about the importance of graphics and set decoration when it comes to show branding and creating a visual identity that people can recognize.

“The speakers really showed us all the different ways that art, media and business can cross paths,” said sophomore Stephanie Doheny. “It really revealed how much work goes into creating a memorable visual for the viewer.”

Ibarra and Bates emphasized how collaborative being a graphic designer is. They pointed at the many different departments that work together such as promotional design, sound and music, and production design.

“We are worried about: how do all of these aspects come together? How are we memorable?” said Bates.

Students also learned that many of these memorable graphics were created through softwares such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Maya, Cinema 4D and After Effects. Ibarra and Bates spoke of ESPN’s complex Vizrt graphics software, which updates statistics and graphics in real time.

“It was encouraging hearing that some of the graphics were made through softwares we use here, but the degree that they were using them is a little more advanced,” said sophomore Danny Elia.

The speakers showed how different realms of art make their way into the professional world of media. Students observed how a hand-drawn storyboard for a Special Olympics promotional video acted as the guideline for the final product.

Interior design was emphasized by both of the speakers as each studio is decorated to give off a certain tone.

Ibarra and Bates also gave students insight on the timeline and quick turnarounds for certain projects assigned to them.

“Usually for small scale graphics, we get around four to five days to finish the whole thing,” said Bates. “It isn’t always a guarantee because clients can sometimes change their mind about something the last second.”

Ibarra and Bates give artistic, “media savvy” students a glimpse into the demands of a professional artistic environment.

“Do not be afraid to network and always think outside the box when you are designing,” said Ibarra.

The Pioneer Players’ Latest Showcase

By Peter McCue

Staff Reporter

Sacred Heart University’s improv troupe, the Pioneer Players, put on their latest showcase in the Little Theatre on Thursday, March 30.

The Pioneer Players is a group within the Theatre Arts Program and run by junior Edward Feeley. In preparation for their showcases, he creates a set list of different improvisational games and exercises for the members to produce.

“I have been doing improv for three years now,” said Feely. “What I love about improv is that you have no idea what’s going to happen on stage and no idea if what you do will work.”

The set list for the event consisted of a number of improvisational games like “Lazy Susan,” where four actors rotate between different scenes, and “Household Olympics,” where two performers commentate on two silent actors acting out a common, household chore.

“Improv teaches you how to think on the spot and how to keep a straight face. Most importantly, you make a great group of friends,” said junior John Hartnett. “Improv has made me [feel welcome] as a new tapper.”

The Pioneer Players meet and rehearse twice a week and invite anyone who is interested in improv to join their rehearsals.

From there, Feeley decides which 12 students will perform in the showcases.

“I started improv at the beginning of the year and I fell in love with it. I have met some of my best friends through improv and I look forward to it every week,” said freshman Matthew Kreckie.

Junior Eugene McDonagh has seen many improv shows and is amazed at how much the troupe has improved; specifically how Feeley has helped the troupe grow over the past year.

“It was without a doubt one of the best shows that the team has ever put on,” said McDonagh.

Some of the audience members notice how the members all bring something different to the performance.

“I really enjoyed everyone’s unique style and creativity. Eddie Feely did a great job coordinating the Pioneer Players and putting on a great show,” said junior Laura Backus.

The Pioneer Players will be performing at Habitat for Humanity’s fundraiser on Tuesday, April 11 and their final showcase of the school year is on Wednesday, April 19 at 10:10 p.m. in the Little Theatre—both free of admission.

“Everyone should come to an improv show, whether it is before the year is over or next year because we will not disappoint,” said junior Emily Shea. “There are always a lot of laughs, a lot of fun, and a lot of memories while on stage.”

Sacred Heart’s National Honorary Band Fraternity

By Lauren Finan

Staff Reporter

Kappa Kappa Psi is the National Honorary Band Fraternity at Sacred Heart University. 17 members founded the school’s Lambda Nu chapter in May of 2005. Today, there are 33 active members.

The fraternity partakes in service projects on campus and in Bridgeport. The chapter’s goal is to promote and spread music education.

“Our fraternity gives back to the Band Program here at SHU in a variety of different ways and reaches out to the surrounding community by spreading the love of music,” said sophomore Nicole Bettinelli.

As Vice President of Kappa Kappa Psi, Bettinelli works to discover new opportunities that the fraternity can potentially become involved in, as well as organizing the various service events.

Junior Thomas Ketcham has a strong passion for music and service and the fraternity gives him the ability to pursue both as President.

“It is my responsibility to mediate communication between the chapter members, our sponsor, and the National Headquarters,” said Ketcham. “I am chiefly responsible for all paperwork being reported to Nationals and representing the chapter at the national level.”

Former United States President Bill Clinton and musicians John Denver and Ray Charles were all members of the Honorary Band Fraternity.

The members perform at multiple events at the university and in the community including Habitat for Humanity’s Campout, Heart Walk, Relay for Life, Senior Centers and the Kids Empowered by Your Support (KEYS) program.

KEYS is a non-profit program that works with children in elementary schools to high schools that have an interest in music in the city of Bridgeport.

“In a community like Bridgeport, many school music programs are not funded. However, KEYS gives kids the opportunity to get involved with music,” said Bettinelli. “KEYS provides free lessons to kids that are interested in learning to play an instrument.”

The organization volunteers to teach the KEYS members lessons on music on Saturdays.

“KEYS is an incredible organization for the members of Kappa Kappa Psi to be a part of,” said Bettinelli. “We get the privilege to spread our love of music onto all of the kids in the organization.”

Kappa Kappa Psi will be performing a concert at Trinity Church on Friday, April 28 and are also partaking in a special event in New York City.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for select members of the band to perform in a beautiful church and show the outside community what our band is capable of,” said sophomore John Munday. “The band director has created one of the most challenging sections of music the band has ever played and I know it is going to be an awesome experience.”

Kappa Kappa Psi’s members are dedicated to serving their university and community.

“The honorary nature of membership is based on our premise that ‘it is an honor to be selected to serve’ this band, its department of music, its sponsoring institution, and the cause of band music in the nation’s colleges and universities,” said Ketcham.

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