Conscious party: Musicians and students pair up for ACLU benefit

PULLING STRINGS: By March, The Moon and You hopes to release a new work called 'Endless Maria.' "It's an album that we recorded with a string quartet arrangement on every song, so it's really something new, different and beautiful," says cellist and vocalist Melissa Hyman, right. She and her bandmate Ryan Furstenberg recruited guest players Lyndsay Pruett, Quetzal Jordan and Lee Stanford for the collaboration. Photo by Evoke Emotion Photography

WHAT: Live music and literary readings to benefit the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina

WHERE: The Mothlight

WHEN: Friday, Jan. 13, at 8 p.m.

WHY: “The overall political climate — certainly the election of Donald Trump, but also what’s been happening recently in North Carolina, specifically in our state government — is horrifying,” says local musician Melissa Hyman, citing examples like the failure to repeal House Bill 2 and efforts to strip powers from incoming Gov. Roy Cooper.

“We’re desperately clinging to a sense of needing to tell the truth and making sure it’s still possible to tell the truth, to speak out openly and to live in a place where that matters,” she says. “What’s been going on in the North Carolina state government personally makes me feel like the voice of the people is not important to our Republican lawmakers in general. We want to amplify voices of opposition to that kind of power grab.”

Accordingly, one of Hyman’s band’s, The Moon and You, has paired up with Rob Nance and the Lost Souls to defend free speech by way of fundraising for the American Civil Liberties Union. Half of the ticket revenues at their concert will go to the nonprofit.

As a music educator for multiple organizations like Arts for Life and the Swannanoa Gathering, Hyman also felt compelled to involve youths in the event “so they can come up knowing how to speak out.” Students at A.C. Reynolds High School were given a writing prompt on standing up for the truth, and based on the quality of writing and bravery of their message, three individuals will be asked to read their short literary work from the stage.

For The Moon and You, piping up is often a melodic practice (though Hyman and her husband and bandmate Ryan Furstenberg also helped send a Port-A-John to Gov. Pat McCrory — a protest that got a name one letter off from a traditional “sit-in” — following the passage of HB2).

“We have some [songs] in particular that we want to highlight, because they are political in nature,” Hyman says. “We’ll make sure to include those in the setlist and talk about them onstage.”

Visit for more information or tickets ($10/$12).


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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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3 thoughts on “Conscious party: Musicians and students pair up for ACLU benefit

  1. boatrocker

    Nice for all those ‘music types’ who suddenly found out about ACLU before becoming social media ‘soiled doves’.
    How nice of you to suddenly … care.

  2. boatrocker

    Anybody want to go in on a bulk order of combs and hairspray to mail to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave?

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