On Saturday evening, February 25, IMS hosted the 16th annual By Kids For Kids musical benefit concert. There were 27 different performing groups this year made up of our students in pre-kindergarten through ninth grade and many of our faculty and staff.

Click here for more photos from the event.

As our Lower School students began singing their opening song, If I Had A Hammer,  the lights went out in the Assembly Hall, throwing the event into virtual darkness. But within seconds, the stage was lit with the flashlights from cell phones. A quick-moving rainstorm had caused a nearby transformer to blow so we were without power for the remainder of the evening.

In the spirit of “the show must go on,” audience members and performers easily settled into the altered mood of low light and acoustic sounds. The evening continued without microphones, amps or the use of electric keyboards and guitars and soon became referred to as the “By Kids For Kids (Unplugged)”. Faculty and students rallied and supported one another, as we gathered by the light of a few battery operated lanterns and cell phones. Musicians showed the true range of their talents by modifying acts planned and rehearsed with electric instruments and amplification to comparable unplugged versions. It felt more intimate and much more like a coffee house event instead of the louder more concert like evenings of the past. In our first ever By Kids For Kids “Unplugged” (credit to Mother Nature), our students showcased the heart and soul of what makes the IMS community so incredible.

Mrs. Soja said it best at Morning Meeting the next Monday, “This was easily my favorite and most memorable By Kids For Kids, as it showed the IMS community not only your exceptional musical talent in service of other people, but also your ability to rise to the occasion and make the best of a bad situation. It was a really special night for our community, made more special by how you rallied around each other with cell phone lights, battery powered lanterns, and cheered each other on. There was not a single moment when students were not looking for ways in which to support one another. This was IMS at its absolute best.”

Kudos to the MCs, Hanyan Cai, Lilla Powers, and Mason Zhaotruly, who gracefully kept the show moving along. The music of the night ranged from individual singers or instrumentalists to small and larger student, faculty, and combined bands.

During intermission, people made their way to the bake sale where the sale of donated baked goods, t-shirts, and hats helped raise more than $1700. All proceeds go towards The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which is a camp in Ashford, CT for children who are struggling with cancer and other illnesses where “they can laugh and play as children” for one week, free of charge.

If you didn’t make the show but would still like to contribute to the fundraiser, please contact Sheryl Knapp.