The BeFree Fall Jam: Substance Free Entertainment

The shoeless Aidan Connelly strums his guitar to the tune of

The shoeless Aidan Connelly strums his guitar to the tune of "Someday" by The Strokes. photo by Blair Guild

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By Blair Guild
Saturday, October 13th marked the annual Fall Jam event, sponsored by BeFree. The student run and Hopkinton Youth Commission sponsored club, meets once a week after school and plans events that give students an alternative to substance use. Musicians performed various types of music in the high school auditorium for the students in attendance.

Club members are passionate about keeping students at HHS substance free. They put a lot of effort in to planning the Fall Jam, which ran smoothly thanks to their hard work and the guidance of the new club advisor, Michelle Carbonneau.

“My main responsibility is to guide students through event planning and to make sure everyone has a safe, alcohol and drug free time,” said Carbonneau. “[The BeFree project] is an idea that the kids own. They have to know why they’re here and why they’re doing this.”

The energy was high backstage as bands prepared for their sets. Evelyn Oliver, lead singer of the all junior band Amusing Ourselves to Death, was particularly excited to perform.

“I’m not really nervous. I’ve performed a lot in musicals, so I’m used to being on stage. But this is my first time doing something with a band, so it will be interesting to see how it goes!” said Oliver before her Fall Jam debut.

The band performed “Float On” by Modest Mouse, “Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand, and the crowd pleaser “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” by Panic at the Disco.

One band, Aidan Connelly and the Fantastic Wonder Band part III a.k.a. 21B, was an audience favorite and the group has performed at almost every BeFree event. The band is composed of all seniors, with Aidan Connelly as the lead vocalist and guitar player, Lucas Carbonneau also playing guitar, Ben Hall playing bass, and Joshua Perez on the drums.

“I am quite excited. I’m feeling energized, inquisitive, and introspective,” said Connelly when asked how he was feeling before the band’s performance.

Their set consisted of three songs: “Do me a Favour” by The Arctic Monkeys, “Helicopter” by Bloc Party, and “Someday” by The Strokes.

“I think we did really well. I love performing ‘Someday’ because it’s not the most difficult song, but we have the most fun doing it,” said Carbonneau.

Overall, each band did an excellent job and there was something for everyone with styles ranging from folk to alternative rock.

“It’s really fun to get people together in such an awesome community. Everyone that performed was so good!” mused junior, Taylor Forsmo.

Noteworthy performances came from Dan Harris, senior; Sophie Johnson, sophomore; Charlotte Sands-Berking, junior; and the band, 21A, featuring seniors Max Joyce on bass, Jack Walters and Patrick Dumas, each on guitar and vocals, and Alex Joyce, junior, on drums.

BeFree plans several events a year including acoustic coffee houses, handball competitions, and more. Students can look forward to more entertaining, substance free events later on in the year.

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