Traverse City News and Events

NMC Audio Tech Program Plots Fundraiser Concert

By Craig Manning | March 23, 2024

The audio tech program at Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) has announced a spring benefit concert to raise money for scholarships. The event, called “Rockin’ Into Spring, Dollars for Scholars,” is scheduled for April 13 at Milliken Auditorium and will feature both The Voice alumnus Laith Al-Saadi and up-and-coming Detroit band Kingfisher.

An Ann Arbor native, Al-Saadi made it all the way to the May 2016 finale of NBC’s popular reality TV show The Voice, ultimately finishing fourth. He's also got Traverse City ties: During the summers of 1996 and 1997, he performed as part of the beloved Golden Garter Revue at Dill’s Olde Towne Saloon on Union Street. A singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Al-Saadi’s signature sound is a blend of blues, rock, and soul. He is currently promoting a new album, released on January 1 and titled Don’t You Give Up On Me.

Kingfisher, meanwhile, are a seven-piece Detroit-based indie folk-rock band formed at the University of Michigan. The band is becoming known around the state for a sound that blends horn and string arrangement with electronic sampling and production. Kaysen Chown, one of the members of the group, is a Traverse City local and an alumnus of TC Central High School. Kingfisher released their debut album, titled Grip Your Fist, I'm Heaven Bound, in November 2022.

In addition to raising money for NMC scholarships, the concert will also function as an experiential learning opportunity for students of the college's audio tech program. According to a press release for the event, students “will be involved with all aspects of the production, including booking, planning and promotion, stage management and running front-of-house sound, monitors, video and switching.”

Tickets for Rockin’ Into Spring are $10 for NMC students and $25 for general admission. Doors open at 6:30pm and music starts at 7pm.

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