Jamnesty jams out for Ukraine


Skilled singers: During the 2021 Jamnesty show, Chamber Singers performs outside in the Autos Courtyard. Photo courtesy of Samantha Glaser

Maddie Cloutier, Co-features editor

A show that lives up to its name at South is Jamnesty, combining “jams”—live music—with a focus on humanitarian goals, or “amnesty,” into one evening of excitement, Matt Whipple, Social Studies Teacher and Jamnesty sponsor, said. This year, the concert is focused on offering aid to Ukraine, he explained.

Jamnesty, which will occur on May 21, is a concert that allows students to watch their peers perform live music while also helping an altruistic cause, Whipple said. One way that Jamnesty raises money is through the admissions fee, junior Samantha Glaser explained. The theme of human rights is also incorporated into the show itself. This year Ukrainian students will speak about their experiences, Glaser said. This focus on philanthropic efforts are what sets Jamnesty apart from other live shows at South, Whipple said.

“[Jamnesty is meant] to bring us all together and say ‘we want to be here to support you,’” Whipple said.

In addition to live music performances from students, dance and poetry have been incorporated into past shows, as well as performances by teachers, Whipple explained. This flexibility is one of the things that Whipple said he loves about Jamnesty.

“[Jamnesty gives] students the freedom to enjoy an evening of their own driven performances,” Whipple said.

Senior Sebastian Zimmer, singer and guitarist for his band the Country Crusaders, said that he is excited for Jamnesty. In addition to playing songs like “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”, Zimmer looks forward to watching the other bands perform at the show, he said.

“It’s going to be fun, and that’s all that really matters,” Zimmer said. 

While Zimmer has performed live at Jamnesty before, senior Clara Wawrzyn has not, despite being involved in music for most of her life, she explained. Wawrzyn is a member of two bands that will be performing at Jamnesty: Charlie Horse and Super Ultra Death Supreme, she said. Wawrzyn is most excited about being able to perform a song that she has written and will be singing, she explained.

“[It will] be really fun to put 100 percent into [the song],” Wawrzyn said.

Whipple also shares this passion and excitement for live music, and has loved every Jamnesty that he has been a part of, he said. Beyond the performances, the main feeling that he hopes students will take away from the event is that they have the ability to change the world, Whipple explained.

“The intent has been to remind our students that they have a responsibility to find their place to improve the world,” Whipple said. “We want you to be reminded that you have the agency and the power to be the ones to improve it.”