Shir Madness participates in charity event


Photo courtesy of Jonathan Morris

Shir Madness and Hooshir, a college a cappella group they partnered with, host a virtual concert for nonprofit Main Street.

Lincoln Aftergood, Reporter

CESJDS’ a cappella group Shir Madness held a virtual concert over Zoom for the nonprofit group Main Street on Nov. 4. The event’s purpose was to bring the Main Street members closer together by sharing music.

Main Street is an organization that was created in 2017 to help provide affordable housing for those of all abilities in Rockville, Maryland. 

Shir Madness performed classic songs such as “Et Rekod” and “Darkeinu” as well as new introductions to their repertoire like “Never Enough” and an original parody to the tune of “Hashem Melech”.

Vocal music teacher Aaron Dunn was glad that Shir Madness had the opportunity to perform for others and really enjoyed the event.

“One of the greatest joys of working with Shir Madness is being able to go out in the community and do our performances,” Dunn said. “We haven’t been able to do that because of COVID, so in lieu of that, this was a lovely event that allowed us to do that. Everyone was lovely, and I thought the kids and the performances were really well received and appreciated.”

Junior and Shir Madness member Elyon Topolosky also enjoyed the performance and was proud of the work the group put in for the virtual concert.

“Before Corona’, we were in person so it was a lot easier to learn the music and collaborate and help each other. The learning process was a lot easier,” Topolosky said. “There is a learning curve now that we’re in quarantine because we have to make the videos. It’s a full month process to make one song when we could have learned it and performed it in a week in person.”

Over the past few months, Shir Madness has not been able to meet together as much but Dunn believes it could actually be beneficial for the group.

“In terms of productivity, it’s been a really good environment for students to learn how to practice and prepare music on their own and be independent musicians and they’ve really for the most part risen to that occasion,” Dunn said. “That’s been really great to watch. It’s been really great to see them take this seriously and want to put forth quality products.”

Ben Charlton (‘06), the Director of Programming at Main Street, loved collaborating with Shir Madness and thought that it was a successful event.

“Shir Madness just crushed it. It’s really incredible to see the quality of music and the quality of video that Shir Madness is producing during the pandemic,” Charlton said. “Certainly, when everyone is in person, it is expected to have amazing music. But to be able to do that while all these students have been apart for six-plus months and still producing brand new music at the level that they are is really amazing.”

The Shir Madness event was one of many that Charlton organizes virtually to connect people from across the country together.

“Music is such an amazing equalizer and is really inclusive when it is enjoyed by all, so Shir Madness was a great entry point to further collaborations between our organizations,” Charlton said. “Having grown up at JDS, I hear that Shir Madness … produces amazing work, so I knew that if we could bring them to Main Street, it would be a home run.”