By Yarelis Cardona ’23
The Cookin’ With Rock Concert was held by Converse’s Music Business & Technology Program to showcase the incredible talent among our faculty, students, and alumni. This concert was also a fundraiser to donate money to World Central Kitchen, in their efforts to support communities impacted by Hurricanes Fiona and Ian. The concert started as an opportunity to display the creativity, diversity and togetherness of the Converse music community and served as a great learning experience for students in the MUB&T program and Contemporary Music ensembles.
The idea for Cookin’ With Rock started in conversations between Music Business Professor John Jeter and Contemporary Music Professor Dr. David Berry. Their idea was to showcase local bands connected to the Converse music community. They approached CORA, the Converse radio station, as a way to involve students in managing and producing the event.
CORA is a student-run organization that focuses on the music business and music technology and encourages diversity and inclusivity in and outside the music world. As CORA began to plan the concert, many communities in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic had just been impacted by Hurricane Fiona. And because of the hurricane’s impact on Converse’s Hispanic community, CORA and the MUB program decided to donate a portion of ticket sales to World Central Kitchen.
The bands brought their own ingredients to Cookin’ With Rock, from country to rock ’n’ roll to Latin pop and alternative pop. The concert began with 4 Out of 5 Doctors, who performed their own spin to rock ’n’ roll. Next up, Vanilla Lily played a unique mix of country, alternative pop and Latin pop. Three songwriters from each of these bands then joined for a songwriters-in-the-round, where they showcased their more vulnerable and insightful pieces. The concert closed with an amazing performance by Sorry, Peach, with a mix of covers and original rock-pop hits.
Cookin’ With Rock was an amazing time for an outstanding cause. The global World Central Kitchen provides food to communities impacted by any type of disaster or crisis. At the time of the concert, World Central Kitchen was serving in such locations as Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Florida and even Ukraine. As an added bonus, CORA reached out to Converse President Boone J. Hopkins to seek a matching. The MUB program and CORA were extremely grateful for the donation President Hopkins and Dean Chandra Hopkins made to help the cause.
The Cookin’ With Rock Concert served as a great example of the impact the Converse music community can make. The MUB program and CORA are extremely grateful to all the students and faculty who helped with or attended the event, as well as the amazing performers. They hope to continue to showcase the amazing talent of our own faculty, alumni and students while also supporting and showing solidarity with communities in need.