Concert attracts Harry Potter enthusiasts, raises money to donate toward literacy

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Wizards, witches, and other magical people gathered in the K-State Alumni Center’s Ballroom on Saturday night to experience a rock concert unlike any other. The bands playing included The Moaning Myrtles, The Remus Lupins, Ministry of Magic and four other groups.

About 250 people attended the fourth annual Hallows and Horcruxes Ball, which was raising money for First Book — an organization providing books to underprivileged children.

Karin Westman, professor in English, said the event normally raises about $1,300 for First Book, and the bands partaking in the concert do not make money from playing at K-State.

“The wizard rock experience is a good way to figure out how people who love books a lot can get together, have fun and try to influence the world,” Westman said. “We hope to be able to do as much as we did last year, and hopefully more.”

Banners for the various houses in the Harry Potter world were set up on the south side of the ballroom, and some people dressed up in Gryffindor scarves while others wore the ties of Ravenclaw and Slytherin with wizard robes.

Nate Spriggs, junior in agricultural economics, said he went to the concert with some friends and that he thought the event was interesting.

“It’s neat that K-State offers a lot of opportunities for K-Staters to get involved over a broad spectrum of activities,” Spriggs said. “It’s neat that (Union Program Council) can find events that can connect to all sorts of students.”

Members of the various bands signed and sold memorabilia before the start of the show, and the bands were each given about 30 minutes to play their set.

Matt Maggiacomo, sole member of the Womping Willows, said he has toured year-round since 2007, but he started playing wizard rock before.

“I became friendly with Harry and the Potters in 2004 and over the course of my friendship with them I was encouraged to start my own project,” Maggiacomo said. “At first it was kind of a joke and I didn’t really expect it to turn into anything real, and then it became something I started taking more seriously.”

Maggiacomo said he wanted to form a band that was from the perspective of a tree because he thought it would be humorous. He said he does not sing every song from that perspective though.

Lindsey Givens, graduate student in children’s literature, said she got involved through the Harry Potter Alliance and Children’s and Adolescent Literature Community.

“Obviously my interest in children’s literature helps, and I’m a member of some of the groups hosting, and I get a free T-shirt,” Givens said.

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