By Amrutha Sivakumar, Daily Staff Reporter
Published March 11, 2013
On April 11, Ben Folds won’t be “Rocking the Suburbs.” Instead, Ann Arbor will rock as the singer-songwriter performs at Hill Auditorium.
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MUSIC Matters, the group bringing Folds to campus, formed in 2011 to bring popular artists to campus and raise money for charitiable services in Ann Arbor.
LSA junior Philip Schermer, president of the MUSIC Matters, said they decided Folds would be the best candidate to perform at the University because of the folk artist's philanthropy and popularity among the student body.
In 2011, MUSIC Matters invited J. Cole to perform, donating concert proceeds to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. This year earnings will be used to set up a need-based scholarship endowment fund.
“The members of MUSIC Matter felt strongly that this was an opportunity for current students to help ensure that the next generation of college student could (attain a degree),” Schermer said. “We wanted to continue to keep college affordable and have cost not be a reason not to attend”
In February, Central Student Government passed a resolution that allocated $10,000 of its winter budget to MUSIC Matters; also agreeing that the concert would be treated as a CSG-sponsored event.
As a result, a committee of seven to 10 CSG representatives was brought together to help choose the artist that would perform at the venue and aid in the planning of SpringFest, a gathering of student organizations before the concert.
LSA Junior Arielle Zupmore, a CSG representative and organizer for MUSIC Matters, said one goal when selecting the artist was to ensure that diverse personalities were brought to perform on campus.
“Last year everyone really seemed to like J. Cole,” Zupmore said. “(We felt that) this year students would want to see something different.”
Though the committee initially hoped to send out a survey to the student body as a way to gauge student preferences, Zupmore said time constraints made this difficult. However, she believed that the diversity of representatives on the decision-making committee ensured that they would adequately reflect student interest.
The University’s chapter of Hillel will be a major sponsor of the MUSIC Matters concert. Dalia Adler, chair of Hillel, wrote in an email that collaboration with MUSIC Matters was in line with the group's goal to increase their involvement with the arts on campus.
Adler emphasized that bringing together University students for the collaborative event would be “both an honor and at the crux of Hillel’s values.”
“MUSIC Matters united Michigan in such a unique and inspiring way,” Adler wrote.
Tickets for the event go on sale at 11 a.m. Friday at the Michigan Union Ticket Office. Prices start at $20.