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NYC Student Rock Bands to Host Sandy Relief Concert in East Village

By Serena Solomon | December 14, 2012 7:20am

EAST VILLAGE — Forget the best efforts of Kanye West and The Rolling Stones at this week's 12-12-12 concert fundraiser — New York City students will show off their own musical talents in a benefit concert for Hurricane Sandy this weekend.

Beacon School junior Noah Chenfeld, 16, who is lead singer of up-and-coming band The Box Story, is spearheading the all-ages afternoon event at Webster Hall Saturday. Five other top high school bands in the city, including Jappy and Chasing Rockets, will perform to raise money for public schools damaged by the storm.

"For a lot of New York high school kids, helping people out is not the No. 1 thing to do on their list, including me," said Chenfeld, who spoke to DNAinfo.com New York between algebra and anthropology classes. "[The hurricane] is so much more serious than people realize."

Proceeds from the $15 tickets will go to materials and labor needed for rebuilding, and will be distributed by The Fund for Public Schools.

"In the Rockaway schools, basements flooded where they stored musical instruments, school supplies, office supplies," said Kate Waggoner, the public outreach director for The Fund for Public Schools. "In the beginning we even had to give out warm clothing and blankets for those in affected areas."

She said the nonprofit is working closely with the city's Department of Education to distribute funds that have come in from all over the country.

Chenfeld, an Upper West Side native, started working on the fundraiser less than two weeks ago after someone suggested the idea to him at a Box Story concert. He then began recruiting other prominent high school bands to join him.

"In a city like New York, everything moves on so fast, and people are still suffering," Chenfeld said.

The Box Story has played at Webster Hall previously, as well as other city venues such as Bowery Electric and The Bitter End. The group, which formed three years ago, has also received nearly 10,000 YouTube clicks on the music video for its single "Under the Smoke."

"I think we have an original sound that can be described as rock," said Chenfeld, who is the lead vocalist, plays the piano and is the chief songwriter for The Box Story, along with his brother Dylan.

Chenfield cites musical influences including Bruce Springsteen and The Foo Fighters, along with the softer sounds of Elliot Smith.

The band hopes to begin recording songs next month, with a possible EP or album on the horizon, Chenfeld said.

The School Hurricane Relief Concert begins at 2:30 p.m. in the Marlin Room at Webster Hall on Saturday, Dec. 15. Tickets cost $15. Those who are unable to attend can donate through the Fund for Public Schools' website