University of Rhode Island’s Memorial Union Ballroom will host this year’s Strike a Chord Benefit concert on April 10. Established at Chariho High School and continued at the URI, Strike a Chord has been doing benefit shows for various charities for about five years.
Every semester Strike a Chord holds a benefit show to raise money for a specific charity. This year, vice president of Strike a Chord, Michael McWeeney and his team have collectively come to an agreement that this year’s show will benefit the Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
“We felt that this was a good cause in general,” McWeeney said. “We also liked that it was a local charity that was easily recognizable.”
Strike a Chord hopes to raise a lot of money for Hasbro as well as gain notoriety for their club which would hopefully get more people from the community to join.
“This is our first show in the ballroom as well,” he said. “So we hope to prove ourselves and (to) others that we can do an event of this size.”
Performances will be from various bands, acoustic artists, and the ballroom dance club. Artists including Natalie Paige Spatharakis, indie alternative rock band Cat Has Claws, and alternative rock band Sic Vita are among these entertainers.
Natalie Paige Spatharakis’s style of music tends to vary, depending on the situation. Â “If I’m playing by myself I stick to generally easy listening acoustic covers,” she said. “Just my guitar and me, and originals with nothing too funky or sporadic.”
Spatharakis picked up the guitar about 6 years ago, but only a few years prior did she start writing her own music, playing, and singing when none else was around. She has played a handful of open mics before that edged her into world of public performance.
To Spatharakis raising money for the Hasbro Children’s Hospital is a humane cause.
“I think the families go through a lot, but it might be hard in aÂ different way for the kids,” she said. “If most of their life has been spent in visits and stays at hospitals, I think it’s a simple thing to try and provide them with the enjoyment of toys to brighten their days, so when they look back on their childhood, they at least had the same basic simple pleasures even if they had unfortunate circumstances.”
Also performing at this year’s Strike a Chord event will be indie alternative rock band from Providence, RI, Cat Has Claws. Cat Has Claws includes Julie Bozek on guitar and vocals, Buck St. Thomas on drums and vocals, and Matt Hebert on the keyboard and vocals as well.
“We’ve played all over Providence,” Hebert said. “Last year we played at URI and a few shows in Boston. We started out small and have changed over the years.”
St. Thomas is a URI Alumni and has interned with Hasbro before. He is excited to come back for another show and to be able to help raise money for Hasbro. The band thinks that it’s awesome to be able to play at a college campus in order to broaden the types of audiences they’ve played for.
“When you play for different people you learn how to improve,” Hebert said. “Definitely getting to meet new people too is also what we hope to gain from this experience.” Bozek added.
Cat Has Claws has recently released their self-titled EP this past February and are very excited to play for this benefit concert this April.
Also performing at this year’s show will be alternative rock band from Southeastern, Mass., Sic Vita. Sic Vita includes Armand Cabral, Jeff Platt, Spencer Harrison, Justin LaclÃ© and Theo Remick. The band has been together since 2011 and has played in various locations such as Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
“We are very delighted to play for a benefit,” Sic Vita said. “We are excited for the chance to be able to support such a great cause is super exciting.Â Plus, we are always looking forward to meet new people who haven’t heard of us and seeing some familiar faces.”
The band hopes to put out an awesome show and raise a lot of money for a good cause. To them, raising money for Hasbro and having a concert to support the charity translates to “bringing light to amazing things”.
“Raising money for a great cause through a show that is supported by local bands is always a great idea,” they said. “Every little bit counts towards something like this, so it’s great to be a part of such an event. So anything of this manner means a great deal to us. We love helping out.”