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Tibetan freedom concert

Celebrities such as the Beastie Boys and Richard Gere are doing it. And so are a number of students and local community members: They're supporting the movement to free Tibet.

Friday, Students for a Free Tibet held their second Tibetan Freedom Concert at Tokyo Rose. One of the organization's three co-presidents, fourth-year College student Jill-Morgan Aubert, said they had a much larger turnout this year compared to last year.

Aubert said that last year only about 80 people came to the concert, but this year about 150 people turned out for the event.

Concert tickets were sold for $5 each, raising over $749 in proceeds to be donated to the Tibetan Refugee Reception Center in Nepal where Tibetan refugees who have escaped from occupied Tibet can receive medical attention.

Local bands, including the Hogwayller Ramblers, the Gulf Coast Army and Supertanker, donated their time to play for free at the concert. Tokyo Rose hosted the concert for free also.

Aubert said Students for a Free Tibet also invited local Tibetan community members to the concert. They recited a prayer and spoke to audience members about current issues surrounding the Tibetan freedom movement.

One of the individuals who spoke was Geshe-la Tenzin Dhargye, a Tibetan monk and visiting professor from India. Dhargye teaches Tibetan monastic debate for graduate students.

"It makes things a lot more personal to talk to the Tibetans there at the concert," Aubert said.

"We worked very hard on it, when you're there and the music is playing and the Tibetans are there thanking you, it makes what you feel is important," she said. "And it makes all the hard work pay off."

She added that the organization plans on holding another concert next semester and also one next year. Proceeds from all the concerts will continue to support the same cause, Aubert said.

"We wanted to raise more money for the same center," she said. "It's all for a good cause."

Complied by June Biolsi

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