Mercy Benefit Concert Highlights Talent and Compassion

A perfect evening sets the South Cafeteria aglow as musicians and fans settle in for the show.
A perfect evening sets the South Cafeteria aglow as musicians and fans settle in for the show.
Laura Altieri and James Reilly played a big part in making the evening such a success.
Laura Altieri and James Reilly played a big part in making the evening such a success.
The Collective is the newest club at Walt Whitman and their new album is selling fast.
The Collective is the newest club at Walt Whitman and their new album is selling fast.
The powerful vocal duet of  Ifedayo Balogun and Lila Amin showcased the amazing talent in our school community.
The powerful vocal duet of Ifedayo Balogun and Lila Amin showcased the amazing talent in our school community.

The 18th Annual Charity Mercy Benefit Concert was held recently at Walt Whitman High School. With hundreds in attendance, the room was electric as a variety of bands performed rock, jazz, funk, folk, and punk. There were compliment booths and henna artists. The new Collective organization set up a corner to promote their first CD which was produced in Whitman’s own recording studio. Of course there were the commemorative 2017 T-shirts with a design by Maureen Rossero.  This year’s annual fundraiser helps support Project HOPE as well as The Collective. The event was coordinated by Walt Whitman English and Creative Writing teacher, Joseph Pipolo along with students James Reilly and Laura Altieri, as well as all of the XanaduLit Mag crew.

“It is cool for the students to know and feel that the energy of the night and all the funds are going to do something remarkable-something essential,” said Mr. Pipolo.  “Someone is going to lift a fork at a Project HOPE supper with food purchased from the three-dollars a Whitman student spent on a henna tattoo. Someone is going to directly benefit from the Whitman students dancing and singing and strumming. That is a wildly significant human lesson.”

Mr. Pipolo especially wants to thank the administration who have always been very supportive and engaged…they all come and listen, and Lou, our district sound engineer who did an amazing job, and Victoria Vasta and Desi Kirina, also on sound. The Custodial staff is always a big help as well. All of the talented musicians who come out and bring friends and family. The National English Honor Society members who sold tickets to the event.

Project HOPE is an organization formed by the youth of St. Hugh of Lincoln Parish in response to the hungry, homeless and unemployed in and around Huntington.  Through the operation of a mobile soup kitchen, food drives, clothing collections, and meals served on a bi-monthly basis; they strive to minister to those in need in our community.

The Collective is the newest club at Walt Whitman and is now launching students into the future of the sound recording and music engineering arts. This opportunity affords students real hands on experience and training with state of the art recording and post production technology which they will be expected to master as recording musicians and engineers in their designated fields. The new club is also attracting many students who are involved in Whitman’s music programs: orchestra, concert band, jazz band, chorus etc. The club has recently finished the creation of an original studio album that is available for purchase ($12) in hard copy through Regina Caliendo at the District Office or at Whitman’s Main Office. You can also purchase it digitally on iTunes, Googleplay and Amazon. 

The iTunes link: http://apple.co/2rLvayz