By Julia Duggan
The Lambda Nu Chapter of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (PMA) fraternity hosted a concert on May 10 to honor one of their members that passed away due to Leukemia. Isaac Ashton passed away back in January, and the brothers wanted to honor him by paying tribute with music.
“Phi Mu Alpha wanted to honor Ashton with a concert because he was a musical person, and enjoyed music every day that we knew him,” said Shrish Jawadiwar, a senior Music and Political Science double major. “Even when in the hospital, he entertained fellow patients with his ukulele playing and singing.”
For this benefit concert, all proceeds went to Ashton’s family. While the concert was free, all audience members were encouraged to donate using Venmo or CashApp. Adrian Camano, a junior, and Jawadiwar, both brothers of PMA, hosted the evening.
“Phi Mu Alpha felt that having a fundraiser during the concert was important because of health care costs in the U.S.,” Jawadiwar said. “We thought that his family could use some help to finance the hospital costs.”
Before the concert started, Camano described Ashton’s love for music. Camano said Ashton had been a member of the College Chorale and College Concert Band. Ashton loved to sing and whistle, as well as play the trumpet, piano and ukulele.
The event had performances by the College Pep Band, Trentones, Lambda Nu Chapter Trumpets, Paid Vacation, Appreciation for Strings Teachers Association (ASTA) and Lambda Nu Chapter. Lambda Nu Chapter are the brothers from PMA, and Paid Vacation is a student band where all the members also belong to PMA. Paid Vacation also mentioned that Ashton was part of the same initiation class as them.
“To get performances, the concert committee sent out a Google Form to all Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs), asking them to fill it out if interested,” Jawadiwar explained. “An email was sent to RSOs to gauge interests for co-sponsorship, and Music Students’ Association was kind enough to co-sponsor with us.”
Almost all the groups that performed had a direct or indirect connection to Ashton. College Pep Band performed the college’s “Alma Mater,” Trentones performed “Run to You,” originally performed by Pentatonix, Lambda Nu Trumpets performed “Within Sacred Walls,” Paid Vacation performed “Where Have you Been,” and ASTA performed “Gabriel’s Oboe.”
The Lambda Nu Chapter performed two songs that were recorded outside with social distancing measures. The first one, “A Serenade to a Girl,” was dedicated to all the women connected to Ashton. The second one, “Brother to Brother,” was dedicated to Ashton.
“Phi Mu Alpha would like to make the Isaac Ashton Benefit Concert an annual event,” Jawadiwar said. “The most challenging part of this will likely be logistical, such as booking the venue and lining up a set of performances each year. Regardless of that, I do not foresee this becoming a problem, and one can look forward to the concert next year.”