Gems of Georgetown past and present to rock the Gonda Theatre

September 11, 2014


The Georgetown Entertainment and Media Alliance challenges students to abandon the stereotypical Georgetown legacy with GEMA Rocks, a show celebrating the diversity of comedic and musical talents of current students and professional alumni.

The show for students will occur this Friday at 8 p.m., with an encore for alumni on Saturday night. The executive producer of the Improv Association, Emlyn Crenshaw (COL ’15), will co-host the event with the Senior Director of Music Production at Sirius XM Radio, professional musician and founder of GU Cabaret Teddy Zambetti (COL ’80).

The Georgetown Improv Association will open the show, followed by a comic sketch. Michael Zakarin (COL ’05), member of the band Bravery and percussionist for the award-winning artist M.I.A., Kiran Ghandi (COL ’11), along with members of the critically acclaimed band Honor by August, Michael Pearsall (MSB ’06) and Evan Field (COL ’98), will be performing at the show. Other acts include a host of several other acclaimed musical talents, including Johnny Zambetti (MSB ’09), and International Dance and Trance artist Jeza (COL ’09).

In addition to performing, Grammy award-winner Bill Danoff (COL ’68), notable for his hits “Afternoon Delight” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” will be honored with the first GEMA Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to both the University and the music industry.

“With Georgetown, we have such an exceptional legacy of alumni that are successful in the entertainment business, it’d be a shame not to celebrate that,” said Connor Rohan (COL ’17), a member of the Georgetown Improv Association. [Full disclosure: Connor Rohan writes for the Voice’s blog, Vox Populi.]

Current students Nora Genster (SFS ’16) and Mary Ellen Funke (SFS ’15) will also be featured. Funke will be performing one of her original songs with her new duo Tigers are Bad for Horses. Genster will perform a cover of “Paris (ooh, la, la)” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

“Performing at GEMA Rocks is an awesome opportunity because I will be singing with a full rock band—guitars, drums, bass, the whole ten yards. I haven’t done that before. The songs, the band and the singers are amazing. The show will be incredible,” Genster said.

In celebrating Georgetown musical talents, GEMA Rocks offers a chance for current students to appreciate the opportunities and talent that surround them every day.

“It’s easy to schlep around campus without a genuine appreciation of these things and even easier to think of GU as some hyper-tense, unartistic place. That so doesn’t have to be your experience at Georgetown.” Crenshaw said.

The show offers a different perspective for returning alumni. For alumni, GEMA Rocks provides the rare opportunity to collaborate with Hoyas with similar interests. The return to Georgetown also allows them to see the advancements in the arts since their time here.

“For alumni, I think GEMA Rocks is more of a chance to applaud the leaps and bounds that the arts at Georgetown have grown….[alumni are] psyched to see that what they loved about Georgetown is getting more and more support,” Crenshaw said.

GEMA does not stop after Saturday night. The student network provides a vast array of opportunities for students particularly interested in the entertainment and media industries.

“I think it’s such a good resource students should know more about, especially students who are interested in entertainment, because it can seem like there isn’t a lot on campus to help them pursue that, and this network is really helpful in that,” said Ryley Gregorie (COL ’17), one of the student organizers.

Zambetti promises attendees will be impressed with the talent around them, emphasizing, however, that this is not merely a talent show. Instead, “this is a professional concert that they should not miss.”


GEMA Rocks

Gonda Theatre

Friday, Sept. 12, 8 p.m.

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