MERCED — In an effort to create greater awareness about UC Merced's musical and artistic talent, the school's Jazz and Combo Club on Saturday held its first Festival of Music and the Arts at the Merced Theatre.
A large audience enjoyed an array of performances from campus arts and music clubs. For example, groups such as Hip Hop Movement performed spoken-word pieces and freestyle break-dancing. The Demo Team of UC Merced's Martial Arts Club performed kempo and tae kwon do martial arts styles, and Ballet Folklorico de UC Merced performed Mexican-style dances from the Veracruz region.
The event was open to local artists such as Scott Patrick Little, 25, of Mariposa, Scott Baltezore, 21 of Dos Palos, and Maggie Watkins, 21 of Los Banos. Together, the trio performed the popular song "Ho Hey" by pop folk group The Lumineers.
Art by Merced artists such as Oscar Torres, 39, was on display in the lobby.
All proceeds from the event benefited the Court Appointed Special Advocates for children of Merced County.
Jonathan Child, 23, president of UC Merced's Jazz and Combo Club, said the purpose of the event was to bring music to the community and help a good cause. "I think it has a great impact for the fact that we're bringing music to Merced and increasing the culture," the 23-year- old Hanford native said.
Henrik Hansen, the club's faculty advisor, suggested CASA as the beneficiary charity for the event, through his work as the Merced Symphony Director. "These students are very talented, and the Merced community should know about it," he said.
Additional performers included UC Merced Ohana, UC Merced Dance Coalition, Yamaduki Taiko, Mariachi, Brazilian Capoeira and saxophonist Abram Lopez.
Chris Winterfeldt can be reached at email@example.com.