(COVINGTON, La.) — Wolf Jam, presented by ACE Mortgage, will make its return this Friday, May 1, 2015 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the Briggs Assembly Center. The event will be presided over by Master of Ceremonies Richard Pichon.
A benefit concert that went on hiatus last year, Wolf Jam features student-led musical acts and raises money for San Miguel High School, a fellow Lasallian school in an impoverished area in Tucson, Arizona. The school has several underprivileged students, and the funds raised by Wolf Jam will go directly to aid the student body.
“To add on to the profit gained from ticket sales, we are introducing a competition by placing a tip jar near the entrance, which will be emptied in between acts,” senior organizer Lane Sumrall said. “Whichever act raises the most money will be dubbed the winner of Wolf Jam and will receive a trophy.”
The show offers a variety of entertainment outlets from seven acts, all unique and worth seeing.
“This year, our idea was to change the image of Wolf Jam itself,” Sumrall said. “Unlike years past, over 80 percent of the performers in the seven acts come directly from St. Paul’s and St. Scholastica, and at least half of each act comes directly from the SPS student body. With the variety within the lineup that we have chosen this year, Wolf Jam will be proven as a true exhibition of student talents. ”
ACE Mortgage, owned by the father of St. Paul’s student A.J. Latapie, will sponsor the event, while Lanier Music will sponsor the lighting.
“(The sponsorship from ACE Mortgage) came as a surprise to me,” Latapie said, “but he usually takes interest in my interests, and I am very thankful.”
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the opening San Miguel High School, which operates within the Christo Rey Network of urban schools. At Christo Rey schools, students attend class four days a week and work one day as an intern at a business with whom the school has arranged a partnership. Students do not receive cash; the corporate sponsors pay most of their tuition at San Miguel. Boys wear a dress shirt, tie, and slacks to class and to work; girls dress in appropriate business attire.
“Specifically, our funds every year go to their library/resource center,” Lasallian Youth Leaders moderator Merle Wiggins said. “Sister Jay Frantz uses the funds to buy subscriptions, technology resources for the library, and any other aids for their resource center. When (LYL) visited several years ago with the El Otro Lado group, she gave every one of us a hug and showed us through the library and told us of all the things she had purchased with our donations. Sister Jay also sends us a letter every summer, thanking us for our gifts.”
Wolf Jam 2015 Lineup
Opening the show is A One Time Thing, a group of six members from the Marian Players’ 2015 production of “GODSPELL.” The group features St. Paul’s students Ross Allbritton, Bradley del Rio, and Casey Fitzmaurice, as well as SSA student Grace Dumdaw and home-schooled students Cathleen Sanborn and Hailey Berezuik. The group will perform songs by bands such as Coldplay, The Script, and Pentatonix.
“I think it’s going to be super interesting,” Dumdaw said. “It’ll be a good place to showcase our abilities that people may not be aware of. It’ll be lots of fun for us and the audience.”
The Storm Drainers, comprised of St. Paul’s students Patrick Frederick, A.J. Latapie, Collin McGehee, and Bradley Anzalone, will perform a classic rock set featuring songs by The Eagles, Neil Young, and more.
“We provide a fun, energetic atmosphere we think the crowd can really tap in to,” singer and guitarist Patrick Frederick said. “We’re definitely going to rock out, and we hope the crowd comes ready.”
Kole Gorney, the SPS Senior Class Vice-President, will make his stand-up comedy debut at this year’s Wolf Jam. He cites Louis C.K, Tim Heidecker, and Eric Wareheim as comic influences.
“People can expect some stories from my SPS experience, with some jokes mixed in,” Gorney said.
C Sharp, an acoustic duo featuring Bradley del Rio and John Birdsong, will perform two original songs entitled “Get You Back” and “Hey Baby,” as well as covers from artists like John Mayer and Ed Sheeran.
“It’s a really mellow, laid-back, yet entertaining set,” del Rio said. “We may feature a special guest as well. It’s definitely worth seeing.”
Brass Narwhal, a ska-based brass-rock band named by senior Alec Gravelle five years ago, will feature Grant Holmes, Lane Sumrall, Nick Ashton, George Cazenavette, and Jeffrey Lemoine. Herbie Hancock, Otis Redding, and Streetlight Manifesto will all be covered by the quintet.
“Brass Narwhal is a different group,” Ashton, the drummer, said. “We have a different sound than anything you’ve probably heard on normal radio. We have a different style of performance and energy that I think the crowd is really going to connect with and enjoy.”
Tanner Bruner, a Senior at SPS, will be performing a live set of electronic dance music (more commonly referred to as EDM). While he has privately mixed since 2012, Wolf Jam marks his public debut.
“My set has been changing constantly since I was asked to play at Wolf Jam, and condensing the set to 20 minutes has been a challenge, but I believe it will be a great show,” Bruner said. “I have been ecstatic for the event since day one, and I’m excited to see how the crowd will react to my show. I don’t believe that EDM is for everyone, but I hope that everyone keeps an open mind about the show. I hope that I can change the minds of people who believe that EDM shouldn’t even be considered music.”
Wet Paint, a self-described “alternative funk-rock” band, will be reuniting for Wolf Jam after splashing onto the local music scene last summer and dissipating shortly after. The band, having played at places such as Coscino’s Italian Grill and Norma’s Pizza Shack in the past, features St. Paul’s students Casey Fitzmaurice and Mark Larson, as well as Mandeville High bassist Locke Marcello and home-schooled guitarist Jacob Hunter. They cite The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gary Clark, Jr., Kings of Leon, and The Roots as influences and will cover songs from all four.
“The planets will collide, and pure vibes of euphoria will arrive the exact time we arrive on stage,” Larson, the drummer, said. “Seriously, though, it’s been way too long since we’ve played together, so Wolf Jam will be really special.”
Tickets are currently on sale for $7 before the event in the band room and in Mrs. Wiggins’ room. Additionally, admission can be purchased at the door for $10. The event is restricted to SPS and SSA students and families only, but all members of the family are encouraged to attend.