Saturday, April 29, marked the third annual Catalyst Music Fest hosted by the student organization, SMACS (Student Members of the American Chemical Society), from the Union University Chemistry Department. Each year the event raises money to support local charities, with the proceeds from this year going to benefit the Star Center in order to provide scholarships for their programs like art and music therapy.
The music varied more this year than in the past, stretching from the previous indie-folk bands to include the first act of the Douglas Warren Band, a country music group out of Nashville. However, Catalyst didn’t stray too far from their indie roots by hosting Von Strantz, a folk band also native to Nashville. But the newest and most unique was Ray and the TriTones, a Motown R&B group from the University of Memphis at Lambuth.
In addition to a revamped music selection, the event was vended by new caterers like Eatbox, owned by Jonathan Coffman, and Farmer’s Perk Coffee out of the Old Country Store. But it wasn’t just the coffee that Catalyst offered. The event also sported a snow cone machine and a silent auction offering gift cards, gift baskets, and jewelry.
For the SMACS organization, Catalyst Music Fest is not an easy event to put on. Students begin planning as soon as the school year starts and finally get to host the event in late April, nearly eight months later. Their hard work literally paid off, as they raised over $2,500 for the Star Center.
Dr. Joshua Williams, a faculty cosponsor of SMACS says, “This year’s Catalyst Music Fest was the largest and most successful events to date.”
Hailed as a family-friendly show, attendance was up this year as compared to last year, which is a positive outcome for the hard working SMACS members. The festival was financially promoted by a diversity of local businesses and individuals, with the principal sponsors being Community Bank and Simmons Bank.
Williams says, “We appreciate the support of our sponsors and everyone who came out, and look forward to another great event next year.”
Hannah Heckart is a photographer and National Geographic Intern. She hopes to become a full-time photojournalist and enjoys running, reading, writing, and music.