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Arts / Culture

USF iPad Musicians Putting Focus On Human Slavery In Friday Concert

Faculty and students from the USF School of Music comprise Touch, a band that plays music entirely from iPads with commercially available music apps.
The members of Touch in its 2014 configuration, performing at TEDx Tampa Bay that year. The group plays iPads in an evolving lineup of School of Music faculty and students. Credit: YouTube

The University of South Florida's faculty band that plays on iPads will blend their electronic multimedia fun with a serious message about modern slavery in concert Friday.

The band is called Touch, the School of Music's collective that plays iPad apps to create electronic music. For their concert this year, band members are highlighting Hope for Justice, an international organization fighting human trafficking.

The goal is increasing awareness of the worldwide illegal industry that enslaves untold thousands each year.

“The Department of Defense says it's the fastest growing crime in the world,” said David Lord, the U.S. partnerships manager with Hope for Justice. “It's 2019. It shouldn't be one of the biggest crimes, over $150 billion worth of profit estimated last year alone.”

The concert will feature stories from Hope for Justice's work freeing trafficked women and children, along with music and dance and other activities that invites the audience to take part. And while the topic is deadly serious, Lord said those going to the show should not expect a somber event.

"We believe that there's a great hope that one day trafficking no longer exists,” Lord said. “And so our heart is always (hoping) that people just come and get informed but also inspired."

Touch’s shows are always part-rock concert, part-experimental electronic music, and part-interactive arts happening. At past shows, audience members could use their own phone apps to play drum rhythms or could dance along.

This year, Touch’s members are music professor David Williams and undergraduate music education majors Tyler Evans, Adriana Novoa, Celeste Ouwendijk-Thom, Israel Rivera, Gabriela Shephard, and Leeana White.

The concert is titled “Be Part of the Solution,” and it is set for 7:30-9:30 p.m. on the USF Concert Hall Stage at 3755 USF Holly Drive, MUS 101, Tampa.

Tickets are $15.00 for non-students ages 19-59; $5.00 for ages 3-18 & any student with an ID, including USF students; and $10.00 for people with military IDs and those age 60 and over.

They can be purchased online.