Tag Archive: Memorial Hall

Six talented a cappella groups helped UNC Habitat for Humanity kick off the year with its first Rock the House fundraiser. Memorial Hall’s lower level seating was full, thanks in large part to the popularity of the Clef Hangers, who were slated to appear at the end of the show. But the lesser known groups proved just as entertaining.

Group 1: Lucky 13 (Chapel Hill High School)

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Chapel Hill High School’s all-girl a capella group, Lucky 13, performed a nice rendition of Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn,” taking into account the fact that they are high school girls performing for a group of college students. The lead singer was a little quiet and a little flat in some places, but they get extra points for bravery.

Group 2: Walk-Ons

habitat blog post walk ons

The Walk-Ons’ renditions of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and Akon’s “Freedom” were smooth with great harmonies. I was especially impressed by Walt Peters’s range in “Freedom” and his ability to hit the high notes with such force.

Group 3: The Loreleis

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This was my first time seeing the Loreleis perform. They started out rocky with Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me.” Savita Joshi had trouble putting power behind the high notes. But she impressed me with her deep, sultry voice when she sang Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” in the final medley. Paramore’s “Hallelujah” ended the medley, but Nina Gandhi also had trouble with the high notes in the beginning. Maybe it was nerves, because she picked it up and redeemed herself by the end. My favorite performance was by Starr Miller, who sang Adele’s “Hometown Glory.” Her voice was soulful and velvety. UNC’s next American Idol competitor?

Group 4: Psalm 100

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Psalm 100 began with The Submarines’ “You, Me and the Bourgeoisie.” Soloist Katy Link sounded a bit nasal in places, but it was a group of true entertainers – they were excited to be there and had the audience clapping. The talented Rachel White sang Flyleaf’s “All Around Me,” a song that constantly switches from low to high notes and back again. They ended with a hymn by Caedmon’s Call, “I Will Sing.” It was beautifully done, with the whole group in harmony.

Group 5: The Achordants

The Achordants were one of my favorite groups – who wouldn’t like a group of 17 musically talented men? They started with Blink 182’s “Stay Together for the Kids,” which had some great harmony in the chorus with tenor Ben Phillis taking care of the low notes and Adam Pasour hitting the high notes. Jacob Osborne had the crowd roaring with laughter during Styx’s “Mr. Roboto.” Apparently singing isn’t his only forte – he dances, too. Pasour finished it off with Rob Thomas’ “Streetcorner Symphony.” And maybe it’s because that’s one of my favorite songs, but I thought Pasour was really hot!

Group 6: The Clef Hangers

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The Clef Hangers have a great reputation for a reason. The group has great stage presence and a strong, beautiful sound. They began with Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody,” and soloist Hogan Medlin delivered a clean performance. James Taylor’s “Carolina in My Mind” was second, and one of the things I love about this performance is that each member has a small solo. They finished with Toto’s “Africa,” another Clef classic. I liked their choice of songs, but the latter two are sung at every performance. It would have been nice to get some more diversity.

Surprise! Group 7: Steve McQuaid and Megan Jones

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The night’s emcees and UNC Habitat co-chairs Megan Jones and Steve McQuaid – also a Clef Hanger alumn – surprised the audience with a duo rendition of Jason Mraz’s “Lucky.” The mini performance was a pleasant surprise.

-Danielle Cushing

Practicing Safer Sex at UNC

Prominent sexual activist Sue Johanson does not promote safe sex, but she does promote safer sex.

Johanson, also known as the Sex Lady, is considered North America’s foremost sexual educator and counselor. Johanson led a discussion on sex for UNC-Chapel Hill students in Memorial Hall on Tuesday evening as a part of her college-university tour.

Johanson, a registered nurse who turned 78 this July, has played a vital role in reaching youth all across the U.S. that have unanswered questions about sex. Sue’s guidance, while extremely honest and uncensored, expressed a very strong message to students: they need to be informed and comfortable talking about sex.

Johanson stressed that safe sex, does not really exist unless you’re pleasuring yourself or not having sex at all. Practicing safer sex is not just a choice; it is a requirement for any and everyone having or considering sex.

Johanson has provided thorough sexual education through her lectures, radio programs and television programs for over the past 35 years. She is most well-known for the “Sunday Night Sex Show,” a live phone-in program on the Oxygen TV network.

Tuesday’s discussion was co-sponsored by The Carolina V-Day Initiative, a week of entertaining and informative events for UNC-CH students in which all donations benefit the Orange County Rape Crisis Center. The Center aspires to be part of the movement to end all forms of sexual violence by offering members of the Chapel Hill community free support and therapy after rape trauma.

Johanson’s charismatic personality and obvious interest in sex kept students interested in what she had to say. The most important issue Johanson stressed was safety.

“There’s so much you need to know about sex. Don’t let sex just happen,” Johanson said.

Johanson openly discussed generally socially taboo topics like female orgasms, anal sex, oral pleasure and her thoughts on the best sex toy for financially struggling college students.

Many students at UNC-CH are having sex, but do not have enough information to fully pleasure themselves or their partners. Johanson informed students how to reach optimum pleasure during sex while still being safe.

Opponents of the discussion are appalled with the openness of the topics and the degree to which the topics were addressed. However, this type of sexual education is about developing young people’s skills so that they make informed choices about their behavior, and feel confident and competent about acting on these choices.

More and more college students are participating in casual sex with either the same or multiple partners. Johanson’s guidance should influence students to familiarize themselves with their partners, encouraging each other to get tested regularly.

We live in an environment where sex is thought about constantly: how to get it, where to get it, and whom to have it with; we need to know not only know how to protect ourselves but how to enjoy ourselves.

Johanson provided us with the information to do both.

By Alyssa Griffith

Don’t miss the boat

Lately I have been struggling to come to terms with the fact that, as a junior, I am halfway through my college career. Being my usual pragmatic self, I am not really concerned about the implications of entering the real world right now. Impending job search and vanishing social bubble be damned. Instead, I am pissed at myself for missing out on some of the incredible organizations and activities Carolina has to offer.

I can pat myself on the back for becoming increasingly involved each year, but I missed the boat on so many things it’s embarrassing. Ten dollar concerts at Memorial Hall? Blood drives? Free movies at the Union? Every kind of club imaginable? Tie-dying and food and speakers, oh my?

Just yesterday I got a sneak peek into one of those ubiquitous student organizations I failed to sign up for at Fall Fest: Dance Marathon. With my short blond hair and penchant for making a fool of myself, I was solicited by a heavily-involved roommate to dress up as Ellen DeGeneres for their video. Their goal is to have the real comedian show up at their February 20th – 21st event. Apparently they are pretty good at what they do: Will Farrell made an appearance last year.

I show up at the Pit to a 1980s explosion of neon colors, spandex and sweet Nike Dunks. Not only are they raising money for the kids, they look good doing it. We film the video, they thank me for my participation, and I leave regretting that the past two years I have not participated in this incredible fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital.

To return to my original lamentation, I want to emphasize that this nostalgic look at my participation is not because of a failure to flesh out my resume. The opportunities I have missed out on were fun, free/discounted, or the chance to work with some really creative and motivated people out there on campus. So, if any underclassmen are reading this, do not make the same mistake as many of us veterans. Actually respond to some of the listservs that plague you and get involved while you have the chance!

By Madeleine Clark

Ballet over books

Now that the turkey is carved and the pumpkin pie is safely stored in our bellies, it is officially time to start looking forward to the holiday season.

Unfortunately, the sleigh bells and mistletoe of Christmastide coincide with a less than joyful time of year: final exams. While we all wish we could be caroling, trimming our trees, and drinking eggnog (non-alcoholic, of course), we are more likely found in the depths of Davis Library, furiously highlighting an Organic Chemistry textbook.

In order to save the diligent Carolina students from working themselves into an academic coma, I propose a study break steeped in holiday tradition.

The Carolina Ballet is performing The Nutcracker at Memorial Hall this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. General admission for adults ranges from $30-$60, but UNC students may attend for the bargain price of $10.

I know ‘tis the season for all-nighters and emotional breakdowns, but I truly believe that a few hours spent in the dream world of little Clara can bring the stress down a few necessary notches. Ballet may not be your cup of tea. But, I suggest you forget that toe-shoes are involved, especially if this is a masculinity issue, and simply enjoy a Christmas classic for what it is. This children’s story may seem juvenile to some but the talented dancers of all ages, the familiar Tchaikovsky melodies, and the beautiful costumes are sure to conjure visions of sugar plums dancing in even the most Grinch-like person’s head.

Though this review may be preemptive, I attended this production last year and do not regret a second of time that could have been used to study Econ 101. So put down your forty pound course-pack and buy your tickets online at the Carolina Performing Arts website. Happy Holidays!

By Madeleine Clark

The Skinny on Augustana

“Hipster-people in their teens to 20s who generally listen to indie rock, hang out in coffee shops, shop at the thrift store and talk about things like books, music, films and art.” Urban Dictionary well sums up the definition of a hipster, a group which could be spotted aplenty at the Augustana concert last Saturday.

Of course other social groups attended the performance, which seemed to be enjoyed by the audience. One man continued to request that the band play “Boston,” Augustana’s hit single. He also offered to have the lead singer’s next child, so I gather Augustana’s popularity is high.

“Boston” was the only song I was familiar with prior to the concert, but the band’s wide range of musical instruments and hipster clothing kept my interest. I’m still marveling at the anatomical miracle the lead singer performed in managing to fit into such tight jeans. How he gathered the momentum to jump onto a drum while wearing said jeans is a mystery.

The only qualms I have with the concert are that many of the band’s songs sound similar. Their repertoire is so soothing and mellow that I found it hard to slip into my usual “concert mood” of awkward swaying and attempts to sing along. Memorial Hall also prevents concert-goers from rubbing up against strangers and finding spilled beer on their shoes. Overall, I did enjoy the concert and I’m secretly thankful I didn’t have to wash my shoes.

By Kelsey Kusterer

‘Wild Cursive’ a tame experience

I’ve been here at UNC for just over a year now, after pounding a little pavement at NYU for my first two collegiate years, and I decided I need to get a little more involved in the arts. I used to go snag $20 standing room tickets to see Rent and bask in the sounds of “One Song Glory,” and now, I can’t tell you the last band I saw.

So, when I walked by Memorial Hall on my way to work last Friday and saw there was a performance for that evening, I promptly whipped out my One card and bought a ticket for Cloud Gate Dance Theatre’s Wild Cursive.

At 7 p.m., I got off work, ran home, grabbed a pink silk this-looks-like-it-should-be-worn-in-Memorial-Hall shawl, stuffed some brownies in a Ziploc bag and ran out the door. I parked, didn’t put quarters in the meter and excitedly approached Memorial Hall (alone).

When I got to my seat, a girl who looked about 5 years old kept talking about her plans for reading Marcus Aurelius and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, among other exquisite works, while some of my contemporaries chatted about plans for a night on the town later. The crowd was pretty eclectic, and the theatre full.

The show began in silence, with the only sounds being those of the dancers’ breathing. Wild Cursive is inspired by Chinese “wild calligraphy,” which is the ultimate in Chinese cursive aesthetics. In this lyrical dance performance, the dancers extend their bodies in an absract manner, emulating the beauty and liquidity of the the calligraphic characters.

At first, I was waiting for the music to start, and I could feel the silence heavy in the air. But after a few minutes of watching the technical and mental strength of the dancers, I became enraptured by their fluid movements, and my body began to pulsate with the sounds of their rhythmic breathing. Organic sounds of wind and water accented the sounds of their light footsteps and synchronized breathing.

However the whole time I felt like I was still waiting for the show to really begin, really take off. I don’t know much about modern lyrical dance, and so I thought I could just go and appreciate the aesthetics of the performance. Though I understand that the dancers were incredibly talented and insightful, the lack of music and the interpretive movements called for a more sophisticated knowledge of and appreciation for modern dance. It was my fault the show lacked luster, but it just didn’t do it for me. Even though it wasn’t the most exciting experience of my life, I’m proud that Chapel Hill draws such renowned performances. Plus, I really just wanted to eat my brownies.

By Carolina Hutcheson