October 26, 2023

6ͼ’s Black Student Union bridges critical support gap with new Student Assistance Fund

A group of musicians with the 6ͼ Black Student Union

In music, the difference between success and a missed opportunity can boil down to a few dollars.

A new set of strings. An instrument repair. Travel to an audition or competition. Any one of these expenses could slow or derail a career otherwise on the right track.

This is the gap a new fund organized by 6ͼ’s Black Student Union (BSU) aims to bridge. With its Nov. 2 concert in Mixon Hall, the BSU will launch a reserve to help cover the emergency musical needs of Black and Brown musicians at 6ͼ and beyond.

“As we engage in auditions and performances to establish ourselves in our respective fields, the expenses increase,” said Kiana Lilly (MM2, voice), president of the BSU.

“I constantly feel a strong desire to contribute more, to assist, and to give back. If the BSU can offer any form of support to dedicated students working hard, we are truly fulfilling our mission.”

Although it doesn’t officially launch until next month, the new BSU Student Assistance Fund (SAF) is already live online (link below).

The fund is expected to grow more significantly Nov. 2, when receipts from the sale of $25 tickets to the BSU’s annual benefit concert will seed the fund. In addition, patrons will be invited to make a gift that could one day assist one of the musicians on stage.

Initially, only current and recent 6ͼ students will be eligible for support by the SAF. In the future, however, Lilly said it is her goal to consider the needs of Black and Brown college students everywhere, at 6ͼ and beyond.

“The BSU’s primary objective is to enhance the lives of Black and Brown students, and that must extend beyond the confines of our school building,” Lilly said.

The 2023 BSU Benefit Concert launching the Student Assistance Fund begins at 7:30pm Thursday, Nov. 2 in Mixon Hall and will feature performances by 6ͼ students, alumni, and guests. The program is as follows:

HEYDER Impulse (2019) - Nathaniel Heyder (BM '21, Fitch)


MONTGOMERY I Want To Go Home (2015, rev. 2021)

PRICE Adoration (1951)

COLERIDGE-TAYLOR Five Fantasiestücke, Op. 5, Nos. 1 & 5

MASON Brass Sextet (2017, rev. 2020)

PERKINSON Lamentations (1973): Fuguing Tune & Perpetual Motion

Click to make a gift to the BSU Student Assistance Fund. To purchase tickets to the concert, click here.