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A Cappella groups celebrate Modica's life in a joint concert

This Friday, almost a year after the death of Tigertone Rick Modica '99, Princeton's a cappella groups will convene to celebrate his life.

All eight of the arch-rotation singing groups will participate in the memorial concert. Each group will perform two or three individual songs and the concert will culminate with a group finale of "And So It Goes" by Billy Joel and "Seasons of Love" from the musical Rent.

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Tigression Jennifer Cushman '98 created a special arrangement of "Seasons of Love" in Modica's memory for all 130 a cappella singers to perform.

"It seemed to me to say exactly what I was feeling about what Rick gave to us all," Cushman said.

The dual themes of remembrance and celebration will memorialize the University student who, according to Greg Paulson '98, a Tigertone and Modica's former roommate, "made everyone feel like he was their best friend."

The concert's proceedings will go toward a memorial stone in the University chapel and a scholarship in Modica's name at his Pleasantville, NY high school, Tigertone president Lankford Wade '99 said.

"More than wanting the money, we want a wonderful audience to celebrate Rick," Paulson said, adding that Modica's family will be in attendance. Paulson said it was unfortunate that the concert was not publicized due to budget constraints, and may conflict with a sophomore semi-formal and a men's varsity basketball game.

'Our glass bubble'

"Rick was good friends with so many people," said Paulson. "Any time Princeton loses an undergraduate it strikes people pretty bad . . . (Modica's death) reminded us that we're not invincible, especially when the person who became a victim was so remarkably well-liked."

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Kelly Armendariz '99, a fellow Tigertone who sustained a broken pelvis in the crash that killed Modica, echoed Paulson's sentiments. "We all get so caught up in our work, in our day-today activities. This took us out of our glass bubble," he said. Armendariz said the concert will be a public display of the emotions of the a cappella community.

"I hope it brings a lot of closure, but the perpetuation of his memory at the same time," he said.

Paulson said he hoped the concert would be a unifying experience in remembrance of a student who was "important to many of the different a cappella groups."

Wade said the a cappella groups very rarely sing together, but hoped that the concert would be "a testament to who Rick was . . . (the group concert) says a lot about the way Rick affected the campus as a whole."

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Modica was killed on March 22 of last year – just days after his 20th birthday – when 35-year-old Freddie Wilson of Sanford, Fla. struck a car of the Tigertones on their way home from a spring break tour.

The concert will be held at Richardson auditorium on Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.