Show choir hosts benefit for the Center on Halsted

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Show choir hosts benefit for the Center on Halsted

Xcend, Columbia’s show choir, performed popular song covers Dec. 4 at the Conaway Center, 1104 S. Wabash Ave., during “Spectrum,” the group’s third annual benefit concert. The event raised money for the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., an LGBTQ community center in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. This year, Xcend raised more than $300, according to Alex Heffner, a junior public relations major and the vocal director for Xcend.

Xcend, Columbia’s show choir, performed popular song covers Dec. 4 at the Conaway Center, 1104 S. Wabash Ave., during “Spectrum,” the group’s third annual benefit concert. The event raised money for the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., an LGBTQ community center in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. This year, Xcend raised more than $300, according to Alex Heffner, a junior public relations major and the vocal director for Xcend.

Photo Editor

Xcend, Columbia’s show choir, performed popular song covers Dec. 4 at the Conaway Center, 1104 S. Wabash Ave., during “Spectrum,” the group’s third annual benefit concert. The event raised money for the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., an LGBTQ community center in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. This year, Xcend raised more than $300, according to Alex Heffner, a junior public relations major and the vocal director for Xcend.

Photo Editor

Photo Editor

Xcend, Columbia’s show choir, performed popular song covers Dec. 4 at the Conaway Center, 1104 S. Wabash Ave., during “Spectrum,” the group’s third annual benefit concert. The event raised money for the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., an LGBTQ community center in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. This year, Xcend raised more than $300, according to Alex Heffner, a junior public relations major and the vocal director for Xcend.

By Assistant Campus News Editor

People packed into the Conaway Center, 1104 S. Wabash Ave., chatting as they munched on cotton candy and popcorn. The buzzing of conversation ceased and the crowd turned its attention to the stage as the lights dimmed and a pulsing drumbeat exploded from the speakers.

Members of Xcend, Columbia’s show choir, stomped aggressively onto the stage, taking turns striking a quick pose, whipping their hair and sharing facial expressions full of attitude in a cover of One Republic’s hit song “Love Runs Out.”

Xcend partnered with Common Ground to present “Spectrum,” a benefit concert to raise money for the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., an LGBTQ community center in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood that serves over 1,000 people a day.

 This was the third annual benefit concert held by Xcend to raise money for different causes each year. This year, Xcend raised more than $300 for the Center on Halsted, according to Alex Heffner Taylor, a sophomore public relations major and the vocal director for Xcend.

“We all thought [the Center on Halsted] was a great organization that does a lot of really great work,” Heffner Taylor said. “They are all about making the community love each other and more accepting of each other, and that is so perfect with [our show’s theme].”

The theme of this year’s show was love, so the songs performed explored the many forms that love can take. This included loneliness, as was expressed in a dramatic cover of Sia’s “Chandelier;” friendship, shared in a trio’s cover of Rihanna’s “Umbrella;” and young love, which was expressed in the set’s vibrant and energetic group finale—a cover of the Temper Trap’s “Sweet Disposition.”

Sarah Eddy, a freshman theatre major, attended the event with her roommates to support their friends in Xcend who spent all semester preparing for the show.

“It was amazing,” Eddy said. “[The show] was so magical, and the energy was really amazing and rubbed off on you.”

Andrew Fortman, community and cultural programs manager at the Center on Halsted, worked with Xcend to organize the event and also attended the benefit concert.

“I’m new at the Center and still getting a feel for the Center’s place in the city,” Fortman said. “It’s flattering and nice to know that the Center has a place and name within the college campus as well as within the city.” 

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