ACTS hosts benefit concert

May 5, 2016


Staff Reporter | reb033@latech.edu


Audrey Kolde (left) Haley Dishman (middle) and Emmie Lancom (right) perform at the ACTS fundraiser. Photo by Ashley Kober

Audrey Kolde (left) Haley Dishman (middle) and Emmie Lancom (right) perform at the ACTS fundraiser. Photo by Ashley Kober


Music can be different across cultures from the U.S. to Central America, yet it is often called a universal language.



This was the idea behind the theme of a benefit concert by the Association of Catholic Tech Students in preparation for their August trip to the Valley of the Angels Orphanage in Guatemala.



Luke Hebert played his guitar and sang “Ocean” by Pearl Jam and Israel Kamakawiwoʻ’ole’s version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”



“My general principle is that any time I sing, I have to sing Pearl Jam,” said Hebert, a junior cyber engineering major. “They’re my favorite. The song is about his love for a woman named Beth, but in this case you can expand it to mankind. The oceans will shift, but the tide always comes back.”



He said he played in his eighth grade orchestra and was in a band in high school, but now music is an outlet for him to relax after a long day of circuits and coding.



“Despite playing in front of 600 other people as a freshman, I was still nervous tonight,” he said.



Hebert went on the Guatemala trip last year, and his experience still impacts him.



“Someone had told me that this one Guatemalan student in the corner wanted to be a civil engineer,” he said. “It was a happy thought at first, but I remember thinking about the opportunities they had. Even if she is capable, which I’m sure she is, I don’t know if there’s enough structure and mobility there for her to move up and get that degree.”



Aimee Ecuyer, a sophomore civil engineering major, is going to Guatemala for the second time.



“Last time it took me a little while to feel comfortable there because it was my first mission trip ever,” Ecuyer said. “So I’m excited about this year and feeling comfortable there already.”



Her group sang “Come Alive” by Lauren Daigle, which she said is one of their favorites.



“It’s just a really beautiful song that we all enjoy,” she said. “I definitely enjoy singing it a lot, and other people enjoy listening to it.”



She said music has been a big part of her life since elementary school when she had piano and vocal lessons.



“Music is 100 percent stress relief for me, and it aids me in my faith,” she said.



She said the work they do at the orphanage is a ministry of presence, so they play with the kids and help with homework as much as they can.



Connor Gruntz, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, did not perform, but he spoke about his experience last year.



“Getting there, I very quickly realized that this trip isn’t about me,” Gruntz said. “It’s about the 192 kids there at Valley.”



He said he had fun trying to understand the kids’ broken English, learning to wash clothes outside in a stone basin and having his long hair braided by the girls.



“These kids have so much love, and they give out so much love even to people they’ve only known for a week or two,” he said.



ACTS is accepting donations via GoFundMe at gofundme.com/valleymission2016.



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