Strike a Chord has a jam-packed semester ahead full of music and philanthropy, with three upcoming events planned.
Strike a Chord is a non-profit student organization which uses concerts, open mic nights and Battle of the Bands events to raise money for local charities. President Nick Bottai has been with the group since its creation at Chariho High School, where he and some of his friends decided to turn their passion into something greater.
“After the Haitian earthquake, some friends and I wanted to help out,” Bottai said. “So we held a benefit concert at the school and it turned into a yearly thing. When we got to URI, we decided we wanted to make it into a club.”
Bottai, now in his fourth semester as president, does not plan to run again next semester. He said he would like to pass the reins and step back to the position of a general member.
“Almost everyone steps forward in different positions each semester,” Bottai said. “So even if you’re not an executive officer, we still have booking agents, people in charge of posters and people in charge of Facebook posts. There is always a role for you, even when you’re not in an executive position.”
This semester is poised to be a very busy one for the group, with two open mics and a Battle of the Bands planned.
Set to take place on Feb. 28 and March 14 at TLC Coffee Roasters down the road from campus, the open mic nights will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., with all profits from the sales being donated.
“Anything they make, after covering their own costs, is going to be donated,” Bottai said. “They normally close at 5 [p.m.], so they are staying open two extra hours for us to host these events. The owner is a great guy who really wants to get involved.”
In addition to these two open mics, Strike a Chord will be putting on a Battle of the Bands event on April 1 in Edwards Auditorium. Working together with the Musician’s Guild, who will be doing sound for the event, Strike a Chord will be donating all of the proceeds from this event to a local charity called Horses Bring Hope.
“They offer therapeutic services, using the help of horses, to individuals with autism, veterans with PTSD and a wide range of different people,” Bottai said. “They just started their chapter in Rhode Island and they need help getting up and going, so we are going to help provide them with some of that help. We’re looking to fill the place this semester.”
The event will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. in Edwards Auditorium, with student tickets selling for $5 and public tickets costing $7. Nearly all proceeds will go to Horses Bring Hope.
The bands that are booked for this show include Jake McKelvie and the Countertops, Bird on a Rock, Another One Down and a currently unnamed band made up of students from Strike a Chord. Acoustic acts for the Battle include Nick Bottai, Wiley Bumtail and Natalie Spatharakis.
Strike a Chord’s past philanthropic efforts include helping the WARM Center in Westerly, Rhode Island, and Headstart through South County Community Action, with that money going to families who were short on money for presents for their kids during the holidays.
“That money went directly back to the community,” Bottai said. “I think that is really why I love Strike a Chord; I know the money is going straight to those who need it.”
Bottai invites all to get involved with Strike a Chord, which is always open to new members. The group meets on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in Memorial Union room 314.
“Anybody that likes music, and has a passion to help the local community should come,” Botai said. “It doesn’t matter if you can play an instrument or not; it’s all about helping.”
For more information and updates from Strike a Chord, check out their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/StrikeAChordURI/.