Music with a mission

A band comprised of only iPad instruments partners with local human trafficking prevention group for a concert fundraiser.

By Amelio Nazarko, STAFF WRITER
On April 16, 2019

The iPad band, Touch, is comprised of faculty members from the School of Music and USF students. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE.

It’s a concert designed for the future.

And the future is now.

USF’s iPad Band, Touch, will be putting on a concert in collaboration with Hope for Justice, a charity organization that fights human trafficking.

This concert is a manifestation of both groups’ desire to spread awareness and understanding about widespread social justice issues.

Touch was formed in 2010 shortly after the release of Apple’s first iPad. David Williams, the USF School of Music associate director, discovered in an advertisement that it was possible to create music using the tablet’s applications.

“I knew we had to have some of these things to do just that,” Williams said.

After the band’s inception, Williams said the team quickly expanded due to increased interest in the methodology behind their music.

“The band was originally made up of faculty members from the School of Music, but very soon thereafter, it became a student and faculty group,” Williams said.

The band is comprised of five members who play on iPads and two vocalists. All of the members switch between different instruments depending on the performance.

As for the name “Touch,” it was born from the simplicity of music-making on iPads. All it requires to create harmonious sounds is a simple touch.

The band thrives by upholding three basic principles. Audience participation is first because the band believes that involving the audience makes it a more dynamic and fun experience for everyone. Next is collaboration, because other art forms like dance, theater, visual arts and poetry bring a powerful eclecticism to their shows. Finally, working with organizations like Hope for Justice allows them to make positive changes to society through music.

The upcoming show they are hosting together will involve a “special collaborative piece that will feature poetry from human trafficking survivors,” Williams said.

As for Hope for Justice, they admire the unique artistry that Touch brings to the table.

“We love when people use their unique talents and ideas to help those in need — which is exactly what the iPad band is doing,” David Lord, the U.S. partnerships manager for Hope for Justice said.

This partnership is not by happenstance.

Florida ranks third in the U.S. for the number of human trafficking cases per year. This collaboration aims to shed light on this statistic and compel people to get involved with the efforts to combat the issue.

The show is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 15 and will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the School of Music concert hall on campus. The show is expected to last 90 minutes and all donations collected at the event will go toward human-trafficking investigations in the U.S.

“For us, rescue isn’t an event — it’s a process, and we want to be there every step of the way for those we rescue until their lives are restored,” Lord said.

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