Variety show brings out St. Edward’s talent for hurricane relief

The sounds of crunching popcorn and unwrapping Kit-Kats and Reese’s Pieces resonated as audience members excitedly spilled into Jones Auditorium. Bands, singers, poets, dancers and more convened at the Variety Show for Hurricane Harvey Relief hosted by the Wicked Problems Living Learning Community and other student organizations.

Wicked Problems LLC seminar professor Steven Fletcher kicked off the Monday evening with a moment of silence to recognize the lives lost at the mass shooting at Las Vegas that transpired the night before.

Fletcher then presented the four donation collaborations that audience members could contribute to, including Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey, Maria and Irma victims, Catholic Charities aimed at Hurricane Harvey relief, the Humane Society and Coastal Brand Food Bank for Rockport survivors. An additional GoFundMe page that raised over $1,000 toward overall hurricane relief.

The show commenced with the lively Tequila Flats band playing “Tequila,” featuring St. Edward’s beloved Gerald Mueller, CSC. The audience readily shouted “Tequila” at each opportunity throughout the song.

Mueller remained on piano to accompany a student cellist in playing the cello-version of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”

A wide range of performances included acts from Jack Musselman’s recounting of three summer jobs in relation to theory to multiple poems, one specifically in Spanish.

St. Edward’s student organizations and teams shined with striking performances by the SEU Dance and Cheer teams and SEU Jazz.

While the acts garnered plenty of standing ovations and resounding applause, St. Edward’s students reflected on the positive impact of the show’s purpose.  

“I think they’re doing a lot to show their support for Houston and everyone that was affected by Hurricane Harvey,” said freshman Olivia Overbay.

St. Edward’s students and faculty alike identified a dire need following Hurricane Harvey and came together to address that need as a united front.

“It’s really amazing because we all need to think about this,” said senior SEU Jazz trombone player Kizil Yusoof. “It’s a cool way to bring it all in one place.”

Even students who did not perform offered any help they could possibly give to make the variety show a reality.

“[The show] let me help in any way I could,” said co-emcee and freshman Elizabeth Benavides. “Even if it’s just volunteering my time or donating something small.”

Benavides went on to say that being from Houston pushed her to make the variety show a reality, even though her home was not directly affected by the storm. The image of seeing her hometown submerged by flood waters was strong enough to drive Benavides to emcee for the show.

“It sucks seeing my home under water,” Benavides said. “But it’s nice to watch to see everyone else come out and help.”

Information regarding continuing donation options can be found on the Variety Show for Hurricane Harvey Relief Facebook page, @SEUVarietyShow.