ReStart the MusiKC
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ReStart the MusiKC

by The Harbinger Staff
November 21, 2015

“… AN EVENT LIKE THIS,
IT WAS VERY INTENTIONALLY YOUTH-TO-YOUTH.”

 

SHARE EXECUTIVES PUT ON A benefit concert Monday that raised over $1,500 for Restart KC, an organization that provides shelter for homeless teens. Senior and SHARE exec Charlie Jensen and his mother Shelle Jensen came up with the idea for the concert when they were driving home after volunteering at Restart KC this summer.

“I think a concert is one of the best things you can do for a fundraiser because everyone enjoys listening to music, especially when it’s their peers,” Charlie Jensen said.

The Jensens brought the idea to SHARE and began planning the event in coordination with Country Club Christian Church, where the event was held. After making posters, a Facebook event and social media promotions, the execs expected a large attendance with kids from multiple schools. However, they were surprised with the estimated 120 guests that came to the show.

“The whole concept of a concert by teens, for teens to benefit homeless teens, I thought was a beautiful idea,” SHARE director Krissie Wiggins said.

Before the show, guests were encouraged to donate, or buy popcorn and drinks. The setlist consisted of students from six different schools, including the Blue Valley District, Rockhurst,  East and more. Many genres were covered, from Rockhurst senior Henry Nickerson’s soulful harmonica and guitar originals to Blue Valley North senior Brooks Brown’s techno soundboard finale.

 

 

The concert ended abruptly when the smoke machine activated the church’s fire alarm a few minutes after the scheduled end of the show.“It wasn’t the way we planned on ending it, but it was efficient way to get everybody to leave quickly,” Jensen said.

Regardless of the fire alarm, Restart KC Manager of Volunteer Resources Timothy McMahon believes the concert was a huge success. In between sets, McMahon took the stage, acting as a “mini commercial break” to inform the audience about the youth program they were donating to.

“Normally when money is raised and donated, it goes towards our general fund, and we have a laundry list of things that need to be done,” McMahon said. “However, with an event like this, it was very intentionally youth-to-youth.”

McMahon enjoyed working with SHARE and Country Club Christian Church and admired SHARE’s drive to actually make the event happen. The club plans to continue its partnership with Restart KC and to repeat the concert annually.

“We think more people would come next year just because they’ll know of it,” Jensen said. “People are always willing to donate, especially when they see something they enjoy doing.”

 

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Gracie Beaham & Will Rowland

WHEN PEMBROKE FRESHMAN GRACIE BEAHAM was young, she wrote songs, and would sing them to her family members as Christmas presents. Part of the reason she did this was so she wouldn’t have to buy them anything, but regardless, she’s shown an interest and passion in singing from early on.

Now a freshman at Pembroke, Beaham has had some real experience singing on a stage. Before performing at Restart, she had done a show at the RecordBar in Westport, and is even in the process of being interviewed with an international company which she can’t name.

Gracie took the stage at Restart with her friend Will Rowland, who she asked to join her to play the guitar while she sang.

 

“I play guitar but it takes the pressure off to have somebody playing with you, so I’m glad he came,” Beaham said.

She opened with a song she wrote last year called “The Bird’s Song,” followed by three covers, including Miranda Lambert’s “The House That Built Me.”

Overall, Beaham was glad she was able to be a part of the fundraiser. She was ecstatic with how much money was raised, and was met with a great reaction from the audience.

“A bunch of people came up to me and told me how great it was, but they could have been full of it or maybe paid by my mom,” Beaham said.

 

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Henry Nickerson
Inspired by songwriter Paul Simon, Rockhurst High School senior Henry Nickerson performed a few of his own songs, including “A Mother’s Call”.

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Christian Kennedy, Reagan Flora and Bryce Flora
East juniors Christian Kennedy and Reagan Flora, who have been singing together since 10 years old, and Flora’s brother senior Bryce Flora covered “Ex’s and Oh’s” by Elle King, “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley and Crazy by Gnarls Barkley.

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Charlie Jensen, Oscar Motsinger and Andrew Mulligan

THE SOUND NATURALLY FLOWED THROUGH the dancing crowd. Five original songs, written by seniors Oscar Motsinger and Charlie Jensen, captivated the audience members who quickly caught on to the new lyrics. Senior Andrew Mulligan, Motsinger and Jensen enticed everyone around them with their uplifting vibes and fun attitudes. To the audience, the indie-pop band could have been playing together for months or even years. However, the band, known as “The Rivets,” had formed a month ago, with only a few serious practices completed.

Mulligan and Motsinger first performed about half way through the show as a duet, then came on again later with Jensen. The first two songs Mulligan and Motsinger performed were “Family Tree” and “Out Again,” both originals written by Motsinger. The third was a cover of “Crust Bucket” by The Frights.

Playing at the Restart KC concert was the first time Motsinger had ever played the bass in front of an audience. According to Motsinger, playing at the concert improved his bass skills, and he even made his own amp out of a combo amp that he took apart to rewire and separate into two boxes to make a tiny stack, creating an original sound. During the concert, he also ran all of the onstage sound.

Mulligan was in percussion and band in middle school, but his main instrument has always been guitar. Along with Motsinger, Mulligan has hardly any experience with the instrument he played at the Restart KC concert: drums.

He has only had two drum lessons in his life. Mulligan also plays piano and bass, with drums being his second favorite.

“The thing I like about playing the drums is the improvising you can do with them,” Mulligan said. “With bass or guitar, you are playing the notes from beginning to end, instead of going and doing your own thing.”

The songs that the band performed as a trio were all practiced about a week before. Three of the songs were originals by Jensen: California Gone, Come On Up and Fallin’.

“Playing really just comes naturally to us,” Mulligan said. “Oscar and Charlie are really good musicians, and really good musicians are able to play with a lot of people. We just say what we are going to do, and just do it.”

The band was very pleased with the turnout and the $1,500 raised for the charity.

“[Playing for Restart KC] really impacted myself and the audience. Timothy McMahon was a very powerful speaker. You could tell he truly believed in his cause, and you could hear the heart in his voice,” Motsinger said. “I look forward to contributing to Restart in more ways, and I hope these concerts will continue to happen.”

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Brooks Brown

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