SPOTSWOOD, NJ - On November 29, Volume Up rocked the stage of the Spotswood High School Cafetorium in their first headline performance. The event was sponsored by Spotswood DECA and was a benefit concert with the proceeds being donated to Music for Relief. Volume Up is comprised of four members who are all students at Spotswood High School. Matt Vento is the lead singer and also plays guitar and piano for the group while Lucas Kay plays electric guitar. Josh Mathew plays both bass and acoustic guitar and Octavia Mastroianni handles the percussion.
"Lucas, Josh and I have been together for almost two years," Vento said when asked how long Volume Up had been playing as a group. "Octavia joined the band in the summer to add another dimension to our music."
While Volume Up has performed live several times, the November 29 performance at SHS was the band's first headliner
"We have played many local gigs for sweet sixteens and coffee houses, but this was our first time headlining our own concert in collaboration with Music for Relief and DECA," Mathew explained.
"We were all friends throughout high school and knew that we all had different musical talents." Kay said. "One day when we were all hanging out, we started to play around with Matt's guitar and piano. We knew there was something special and things started rolling from there."
The band describes themselves as an indie rock band, playing a distinctive sound that includes original music.
"We are an indie rock band, but we blend all different styles to produce unique music," Kay continued. "We have two originals that we are working with LakeHouse Studios and MOTO Records to release soon."
Spotswood DECA sponsored the November Music for Relief concert that raised $2,700 through ticket and t-shirt sales as well as donations. DECA is a co-curricular program that prepares students for college as well as professional careers by combining classroom instruction with real-life interactions involving the community and area businesses as well as competitive events.
Each year NJ DECA chapters participate in a community service projects that raise money for different charities. This fall, Spotswood DECA sold more than 1,500 mums, raising $2500 for the Spotswood DECA Scholarship Fund. The mum sale was organized by Leah Demers and Stephanie Gumprecht.
"All of the proceeds will be donated directly to Music for Relief," Mathew said of the money raised from the Volume Up performance.
Music for Relief was founded in 2004 by the band Linkin Park after a tsunami in the Indian Ocean killed more than 200,000 people and left devastation in its wake in 12 countries including Thailand, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka. The organization is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation and offers assistance to people and communities impacted by natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes. Music for Relief has provided aide in more than 30 natural disasters across the globe since its inception.
"Music for Relief encourages musicians to create awareness and raise funds for those in need," Mastroianni said when asked why the band choose the charity. "We believe in this mission and decided to partner with Music for Relief to aid those affected by natural disasters."