BHS Insight

Shelter From the Storm

Maeve Bedenkop, Staff Writer

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Every year, a small entrance fee of $5 admits audience members to a stunning performance featuring the best talent on Cape Cod, while simultaneously donating to a local charity.

Over the last ten years, the Shelter for the Storm Concert, put on by the the Human Rights Club at Cape Cod Academy, has raised more than 125,000 dollars for various organizations and nonprofits on Cape, including Veterans Outreach Center, the Housing Assistance Corporation, Homeless Not Hopeless, Safe Harbor Shelter and Duffy’s Opioid Addiction Program.

This year, high school members of CCA’s Human Rights Club met with CEOs of Faith Family Food Kitchen and dedicated themselves to raising enough money to fund the kitchen for a year, providing 15,000 meals for people in need.

The event is a Cape wide effort, and local businesses chip in to make it possible. Wendy’s rents the Tilden Arts Center yearly for the concert and Sunderland Printing and Cape Cod Sportswear create the Playbills and t-shirts for the event. In conjunction with others, these businesses eliminate any overhead production costs so that every penny can be donated to charity.

Audience members are privilege to two and a half hours of phenomenal music, dance, and other assorted talents. The program includes a mix of group and solo acts performed mostly by high school students. This February was the first time the invitation to perform at the concert was was extended to a senior; amazing opera singer Emily Scipione from Barnstable High School, sang early on in the first act and was also the closing performer.

Guest artist Grace Morrison kicked off the concert by saying a few words regarding her realization that she was privileged to possess basic life necessities, and her determination to help others who didn’t- she then proceeded to sing and play on guitar, a song that she wrote with that in mind.

Throughout the night, other student talent included a number of lively jazz and hip hop routines by Dance Designs and Cape Cod Hip Hop and Jazz, as well as moving modern pieces by the Beth Walsh Dance Center and other solo dance acts.

Singing ranged from new hits to classics to opera and even to original songs performed by a number of singers and vocalists.

Tommy Wang from CCA, dubbed the ‘Yoyo Meister,’ wowed the audience with his complicated yoyo tricks.

From Sturgis, senior Tianna Romero McLardy preformed three consecutive originals covering meaningful topics such as race, knowledge and individuality. The talented senior sang, and played piano and electric and acoustic guitar, alongside her mom and the rest of her band which included another electric guitar player, a drummer, and a saxaphone player.

The Cape Youth Symphony Orchestra additionally performed a few pulchritudinous and complex classical pieces.

Introducing each act with a joke, story and even some dancing, was the hilarious and engaging Master of Ceremonies and CCA sophomore, Eli Sorent-Burns, who additionally served as the auctioneer for two Red Sox Tickets during intermission.

After 11 years of Shelter for the Storm, the audience gave a standing ovation applauding CCA headmaster Larry Brown who started and continued the benefits concert and is retiring after this year, with the request that the students and faculty of CCA and across Cape Cod continue this wonderful annual program.

The show is unique in that it is organized, run, directed, and performed by students.  During the show Student Director Ryan Edmonds runs tech backstage while Co-Director Ashley Guay keeps acts running smoothly throughout the night. They both work hard long before the night of the show, to create setlists and participate in radio interviews advertising the show and the cause it benefits.

Guay said her favorite part of the show was, “listening to what everyone thought about the show while they’re leaving,  and [that] it’s also just really great to feel that you’ve seen everything through.”

All the students and adults involved in the show did a wonderful job directing a night of entertainment that showcased impressive talent, solely to people in need. Before they left, the audience stood again for the students running and performing in the show and the impact it continues to make every year in the community.

It was inspiring to witness how a small group of around 13 students, dedicated to helping others, could rally their peers to put on such a professional and amazing concert to fund their cause and make a difference. Photo by Maeve Bedenkop

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