Stamford musician, fellow Boston students plan benefit evening


Above: Musician Lisa Occhino plays at her home in Stamford, Conn., in 2011. Occhino, who attends Berklee College of Music in Boston, has teamed with members of the school’s newspaper, “The Berklee Groove,” and other students to stage a benefit in Boston April 26, 2013. File photo

Weeks before bombings rocked the city of Boston, Stamford resident and Berklee College of Music student Lisa Occhino had been planning an end-of-spring-semester celebration for the school’s newspaper “The Berklee Groove.”

“Of course, we realized this was the last of anyone’s concerns,” said Occhino this week, as the city and its residents grappled with the aftereffects of the two bombs that exploded with deadly and injurious effect during the Boston Marathon on April 15.

Instead, Occhino, who is editor of the paper, and other students have rallied to turn the party into a benefit on April 26. Guests will still find giveaways and free refreshments, but they also will have a chance to give back. Billed as an evening of “unity and strength,” singers, musicians, poets and storytellers will take to the mic to share their work followed by a performance by students Hannah Christianson and Dominic Florio.

Guests will be encouraged to write thank you cards to the Boston Police Department, as well as sign a “Boston Strong” banner. Donations, and all proceeds, will go toward the One Fund Boston, Inc.

Occhino, an award-winning singer and songwriter, said support for the event has been strong.

“We opened signups on Saturday for the open mic and by the next day it was full,” she said.

Christina Hennessy