Published Oct. 3, 2023
BY DANIELA FOLEY
Continuing its 14-year legacy, the Singer-Songwriters Guild, a group of Carmel High School students passionate about writing music, have several shows planned for the 2023-24 school year and have already performed at a fundraising event to help those suffering from August’s Maui fire.
While the music-based club usually opens the year with a performance at the Thirst Gala, an annual event to raise money to combat the global water crisis, the struggles in Maui inspired the switch to a new fundraiser held Sept. 28: Maui Strong. The event raised over $2,000 for a high school in Maui to assist with rebuilding and supporting programs as they were heavily affected by the tragedies.
“Once we sent the money over there they were so grateful and appreciative of our efforts, saying it meant a lot to them,” vice president senior Alexis Pine explains. “It was definitely a cool connection between high schools, and it was through music too, which is a universal language.”
Seniors from the club conducted original songs and covers at the fundraiser to demonstrate their growth as musicians.
“We have a really strong group of seniors this year and it was wonderful to watch us all play,” president Riley Mabry says. “I was thinking back to freshman and sophomore year when we were all terrified to be on stage, and now we just enjoy it.”
Led by history teacher Blaise DiGirolamo and music teacher Brian Handley, underclassmen and upperclassmen alike come together with one thing in common: their love for making music.
“Every adult involved has looked back and wished they had this back when they were a kid,” DiGirolamo says.
This year, the club’s focus will be supporting the new underclassmen through workshops, guest speakers and fostering a safe space to share ideas. After the emergence of a Singer-Songwriters Club at Carmel Middle School, more experienced underclassmen have joined the club at the high school level, promising a bright future.
“What’s cool is each year some of the people who were at one point in time shy or inexperienced freshmen are now seniors leading the club…showing the way for new members and setting the standard for performances,” explains Handley, co-founder of the Singer-Songwriters Guild.
As the club currently has an additional five shows lined up for the year, students are eager to get back on stage, whether they’re going to perform as a lead singer opening with an original song or a drummer ready to set the beat.
“The band show was amazing because I felt so free on stage,” Pine says. “It was kind of an enlightening moment.”
The club will perform in the CHS cafeteria Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. and the band show will be at 7 p.m. in the CHS theater March 8.