University of Rochester

A cappella Benefit Concert Raises Funds for African Goodwill Tour

March 21, 2011

March 26 Concert features University of Rochester YellowJackets, NOTA

Note to editors: The YellowJackets are available all week for interviews. They can discuss the benefits of their African tour, as well as perform a few songs on-camera.

Steve Wonder once said, "Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand." For the YellowJackets, the oldest male a cappella group at the University of Rochester, this adage proves true. This summer, the group will travel to Kenya on a goodwill tour, performing concerts for young children and sharing in a musical exchange with its residents.

See a video teaser about the group's trip here.

To raise money for their trip, the group is hosting a benefit concert on Saturday, March 26, at 8 p.m. in Strong Auditorium, on the University's River Campus. The concert's theme, Kenya Feel the Love Tonight, features songs from their repertoire of Top 40 hits and pop favorites, as well as an "African Medley," including World Cup anthem Wavin' Flag by K'naan and Waka Waka by Shakira.

Joining the YellowJackets on the stage Saturday night is special guest NOTA, the Puerto Rican a cappella group who was catapulted into fame when they won the first season of NBC's The Sing Off in 2009.

Pittsford native Aaron Sperber '11, who serves as president for the YellowJackets, says that the main purpose of their trip to Africa is to participate in an "exchange of music with a culture in another corner of the world." While abroad, the group will spend three weeks in the village of Maseno, where they will conduct workshops in the village schools, learning traditional native songs from local children and teaching the students popular songs from the U.S. Additionally, the group will participate in community outreach, working with victims of AIDS through the nonprofit organization Joining Hearts and Hands.

Tickets for the concert are $20 for the general public at the door. Advanced tickets for members of the university community (graduate students, faculty, and staff) are $15 at the Common Market; $20 at the door; undergraduate tickets are $7 at the Common Market; $10 at the door. All tickets also can be purchased online at