Tuesday 29 September, 2020

USC music marathon earns $1 million for students affected by COVID-19

The University of the Southern Caribbean has earned half of its $2 million goal, after hosting a global music marathon over the weekend.

The 24-hour event featured performances from over 100 artistes and musicians and according to the Student Relief Committee, it was organised in response to the overwhelming need for financial assistance as a direct result of COVID-19.

Kerron Hislop said the Student Relief Fund was conceptualised by the USC administration, to assist students negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After getting our events team together (most of the team consisted of the crew that usually works together on USC mUSiC events) we brainstormed to come up with different events that we could host to try to raise the $2 million that our committee was tasked to be responsible for out of the overall 10 million that the SRF would like to raise overall.  We came up with several possible events, with this one being the most marketable/viable within the short time frame within which we had to work.”

Hislop said the music marathon offered the best possible return on investment and despite the challenges, the team banded together and worked assiduously to ensure the success of the event.

“The planning and execution of every stage of the event was very time consuming - coordination of artistes, marketing, tech organization and sourcing… It was really a labour of love for all involved since everyone worked as volunteers.  It was our first time executing an event of this particular nature and magnitude, so from our perspective, we believe it exceeded our initial expectations.  The hiccups experienced along the way serve as learning experiences for us and should we attempt this sort of event again we will be better prepared.  As in most other countries and institutions worldwide, COVID-19 has hit the arts & music community extremely hard.  We are now being forced to reinvent ourselves to adjust to the realities of this new normal.”

The Music Director said the committee is now looking to restructure its offerings to cater for a more diverse and dispersed community.

“So look out to hear more from us on some of these initiatives very soon.  At this point, we continue to invite all talented musicians out there to come to be a part of the USC mUSiC experience.  It is the most comprehensive and exciting programme available anywhere in the region and our students have the opportunity to be a part of many unique and impacting musical experiences like the Stronger Together Music Marathon.  Next on the agenda - who knows??  Stay tuned to find out…”

The Global Music Marathon earned just over $1 million which according to organisers would be disbursed as grants, to students most affected by COVID-19 and are in need of assistance to cover tuition.

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