Raise Your Voice is the newest iteration of an event once called Acappellooza. As in previous years, the concert aims to bring together many of the groups of Penn’s A Cappella Council while raising money for charity. But this year, the concert is bigger than ever. Former Counterparts President and current A Cappella Council Chair Anthony Anchelowitz (C ’18) said that when planning this year’s event, the organizers thought about ways to expand the concert, which had once been smaller and more community–based. “We sat down and saw this was an opportunity, this year, to make it not just internally facing as a celebration within [Penn’s performing arts] community … but rather to make it something more externally facing, engaging with the West Philadelphia community and engaging with the Penn community.”
Proceeds will go to Settlement Music School, a community school of the arts that has provided music instruction for more than 300,000 students in the Philadelphia area since its founding in 1908. Penny Loafers President and one of the event organizers Julius Barriteau (C ’19) explained that since Settlement teaches music locally in Philadelphia, donating to them was a natural choice. “We want to support this important member of our community that does something that we care about.”
Students of Settlement Music School have been invited to come to Penn for the event. Tickets have been reserved for them, and the students, many of whom are in high school, will be given tours before the concert and spend time with Penn students. Anthony said that involving Settlement students in the event was important. “We wanted not just for this to be in support of them, but also in honor of them.”
Pitch Slapped, an a cappella group from the Berklee College of Music that has appeared on NBC’s The Sing–Off and America’s Got Talent, will be performing at the event along with Penn’s groups. The plan to expand the event started when Pitch Slapped emailed Anthony about their East Coast tour.
Julius said that the inclusion of Pitch Slapped was an exciting addition to the event. “They’re a really high–profile a cappella group, and they produce amazing music and put on quality concerts," he added. "We’re super excited to have them here.”
The Director of Platt Student Performing Arts House, Laurie McCall, who worked with the students as they organized the event, said one of the most exciting parts is the way that the benefit unites the students. “It’s also about bringing the groups together to work on something collaboratively … They’re really into their groups and what they do and that’s awesome, but sometimes they don’t realize they’re part of this larger community,” she said. “I just like seeing them come together.”
Tickets are available here for a special Penn student rate of $10. The event will take place on Sunday, Feb. 25 at the Annenberg Center's Zellerbach Theater.