UPDATE: Homecoming concert draws more than 2,400

Janeal Downs
Staff Writer

Students filled the floor of the Stuart C. Siegel center during the 2014 homecoming concert on Friday, Jan. 18. VCU student performers opened for the trio of featured artists, including rapper Fabolous, singer Jhené Aiko and singer Mack Wilds.

Homecoming committee director Beverly Walker said a minimum of 2,400 students attended the concert.

The homecoming committee selected student rapper Tai Wo, singer Jasmine Lawrence, dancing group Blank Canvas and the Complex Modeling Troupe after auditions against other groups in November 2013.

“The music we like to choreograph to is usually not what people expect from hip-hop dancing,” said Blank Canvas member and junior chemistry major Christian Mercado. “We like to choreograph to things we think will bring the hip-hop in us or the dance in us.”

Mercado is one of three artistic directors of the dance group Blank Canvas.

“Something we want people to take from our performance (at the homecoming concert) is don’t be afraid to experiment or try new things,” Mercado said. “If you’re interested in dance be aware that there are opportunities all around you so just look for it.”

This is the first year students were able to perform during the homecoming concert. Each student performer was given approximately five minutes on stage before the main acts.

“My friends were up there and I was rooting for them, they did really good,” said sophomore elementary education major Nichole LeGall about the student performers.

LeGall said she would like to see more student performers next year, and said she preferred this year’s concert to the 2013 concert featuring ASAP Rocky.

“You missed out on a great show, ’90s babies would have loved it,” LeGall said.

John David Jackson, known by his stage name Fabolous, performed last at the concert, performing famous track such as “Breathe,” “Can’t Let You Go,” and “Throw It In The Bag.”

The VCU homecoming committee searched for pop, hip-hop and R&B artists using survey results from the Fall 2013 Student Organizations and Volunteer Opportunities fair, according to homecoming committee advisor Beverly Walker.

Although VCU students voted on top artists from the selected genres on a university poll in myVCU portal, featured artists were chosen for the concert based on cost and availability of the artists, Walker said in an email.

The story has been updated from a previous version that incorrectly estimated about 1,500 students attended the concert.

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