Members of Amnesty International have been planning for their annual Jamnesty concert since mid-October. Months of preparation lead up to the 4 1/2 hour event on Jan. 22. Here’s a play-by-play of what happened.

5:38 p.m. : Volunteers in black T-shirts and orange wristbands run around the mall and cafeteria, frantically setting up tables, making signs, and wondering where the pizzas for the concessions tables are.

5:54 p.m. : Tables are set up for National Art Honors Society (NAHS) and Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), as well as tables raising awareness about Amnesty’s various projects including stopping the death penalty and torture, donations for Haiti, women’s rights, saving the rainforest, and Heifer International. In the cafeteria, stages are set up at each end, one for larger bands, and one for solo artists.

“Amnesty International is a world-wide group, and it has locations in 250 countries,” president Becky Alexander said. ” a relief service, and they raise awareness about civil unjustices.”

6:07 p.m. : The “Battle of the Bands” is kicked off when sophomore Isabel Zacharias plays her ukelele and starts to sing some of her original compositions. People have begun to drift in.

“It was just a fun time for a good cause,” Zacharias said. “I was glad to be of contribution to the whole night.”

6:39 p.m. : Face-painting and tie-dying, sponsored by NAHS, appear to be the most popular table, sponsored by NAHS, and the sounds of students playing Rockband ring through the mall.

7 p.m. : Representatives show up for the Coalition table, quickly putting out their merchandise and making a sign for their display.

“For Coalition, the money from our T-shirt sales goes straight to Love 146, Invisible Children, and Save Darfur,” junior Hope Wooten said.

7:21 p.m. : Participants and volunteers alike race down the mall on scooters brought by GSA member Katie Davis, narrowly avoiding people, and laughing all the while. Even though Menlo Park is playing in the cafeteria, a group of senior boys break out their guitars and ukeleles and start jamming in the mall.

7:56 p.m. : Worry dolls are being made to be sent to the U.S. senate to pass a bill concerning women’s rights because in Mayan culture, worry dolls symbolize great concern.

8:28 p.m. : Feedback sounds through the hallways as the band Madrid begins to warm-up.

“I came to Jamnesty because I had a couple of friends who were playing and I knew there was music,” junior Eric Fillmore said. “Music is essential to life. It’s not that you can’t live without it, but it’s just important.”

9:30 p.m. : The screamo band “The Cavalry” comes on. Later, seniors Josiah Rosell and Vik Govindarajan take their place in a surprise performance.

10 p.m. : By now, free pizza and popcorn are being offered, and the lights in the cafeteria are turning back on as the couches and chairs inside are returned.

The rest of the night consists of clean-up, although volunteers had to work until Tuesday counting the donations.

“Jamnesty as a whole is a bunch of service groups coming together, raising money for good causes,” Wooten said.


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