The Urban Impact Choir regales listeners at Christ Church at Grove Farm. The choir is made up of 100 students in grades six through 12. (Photo courtesy Urban Impact)
On April 2, you won’t hear any violins at Heinz Hall. Instead, a group of oldies legends will grace the stage at a benefit concert for the Urban Impact Foundation.
The concert, Urban Rocks, will help Urban Impact expand its programming. For more than 15 years, Urban Impact has provided faith-based after-school programs for at-risk students on the Northside.
These programs range from sports leagues, summer day camps, academic assistance and arts programs, said Marketing Manager Cindy Dell. Currently, the program serves about 900 students.
Urban Impact also provides post-graduate counseling to its high school students in order to give them the motivation and tools to go on to vocational school, the military or college.
“We need to serve more kids. The Urban Rocks benefit concert will help us do that,” Dell said.
Oldies legends Jerry “The Iceman” Butler, Eddie Holman and the Northside’s own Johnny Angel and the Halos will headline the concert.
The Urban Impact Choir, composed of around 100 students in grades six through 12, will also perform.
“I used to be one of those kids,” said Jack Hunt, known professionally as Johnny Angel, who grew up on the Northside. “It’s important to expose the kids to something other than the streets.”
Dell agreed with Hunt. “Now that the organization is about 15 years old, some of the kids who are graduating from high school this year grew up with Urban Impact. It’s amazing to see how many of our students are planning to continue their education,” she said.
Thanks to the event’s sponsors, which include the Ladies Hospital Aid Society, Dollar Bank, StarKist and Highmark, all the money raised from ticket sales will go straight to the Urban Impact Foundation.
“We are very thankful for our sponsors. They are really doing something extraordinary by making this all possible,” Hunt said.
Urban Rocks takes place Saturday, April 2 at 8 p.m. at Heinz Hall. To purchase tickets, visit www.pittsburghsymphony.org or call 800-743-8560.
For more information on the Urban Rocks concert and the Urban Impact Foundation, visit www.urbanimpactpittsburgh.org, or call 412-321-3811.
Ethan G. Cohen was born and raised in Philadelphia. He is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in English Literature and Philosophy and currently interns with The Northside Chronicle.