There are some sounds you can only feel when you close your eyes. Your senses heighten. You forget your place. The space. It is hollow, save for your own hand that you hold to make sure you’re still present. Insert the Korean Student Association’s (KSA) Samulnori. Add chanting. Mix in the heartbeat of the percussion instruments.
This is an experience.
This is the VIETHOPE THANKSGIVING BENEFIT CONCERT, presented by the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) and Hoya Break Squad. More than just an afternoon to remember, the concert served as a reminder to be thankful for the resources that we have here, as Georgetown students.
Hosted by a dynamic duo, Christine Trinh and Chris Lam, this year’s event highlighted the theme: Supporting the Future of Tomorrow. As announced at the start of the afternoon, the goal of the concert was to raise $200 in proceeds to provide a year’s tuition for one student in Vietnam. In anticipation for what would prove to be a phenomenal event, I grabbed a chocolate chip cookie and a coffee-flavored candy and made my way to my seat.
So there they were, the KSA’s Samulnori, sitting on the floor in their black and white traditional costumes and colored sashes, opening up the concert with a bang… or two. The gong signaled the end of their performance and made way for Hoya Break Squad to take over the stage. In their first performance this semester, Hoya Break Squad brought out all of the energy in their fun and fresh routine. Following the Bboys and Bgirls, I represented The Corpus Collective with a spoken word piece on accents and appreciating the differences in our languages and cultures. I was eventually followed by a short intermission and subsequent presentation about VietHope, a volunteer-driven, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the education of disadvantaged students in Vietnam; VietHope would be receiving the proceeds from the event.
Other standout performances from the night included: the fancy footwork of Antony Lopez representing Ballet Folklórico, the Filipino-fusion hip-hop dance team that is Flip Dis Funk Dat, the a capella soul that is Resonant Essence Live (REL), and the sweet-sounding vocal performance by Sarah Mucha. Don’t believe me, just watch (check out the pictures)!
Throughout the concert, I felt a spirit of community and warmth. In this season of giving, we must remember the less fortunate in both our local and global communities.
Over the summer, some members of the VSA interned for VietHope and were able to meet past scholarship recipients in person. They aided in the organization’s mission to provide access to education for financially challenged students in Vietnam.
They showed me that Georgetown students are still passionate about social justice and desire to transmit that passion across the globe.
I would bet that if you spoke to anyone who attended the VSA’a Annual Thanksgiving Benefit Concert, they would tell you that they had an unforgettable time! Ultimately, the event was a huge success! The VSA and Hoya Break Squad raised $334, nearly enough for the full year’s tuition of 2 students to include books, transportation, and even tutoring. The scholarship recipients are not the only ones who have benefitted from this event. I cannot wait to see what they have in store for us in the years to come.
-Claytia Gonsalves, General Manager