By Michael Abramowitz
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Getting Pitt County residents in tune with more healthy habits is the goal of a new musical group that is sharing its message through the Internet.
BOY BANDemia is the name of a singing group composed of three students enrolled in the physician assistant program in the College of Allied Health Sciences at East Carolina University.
The second-year students, Sean Russell, Joe Bartolomew and Adam Rhodes, all 26, have developed a novel approach to promoting to young people the benefits of preventive health care: motivational music videos.
The group’s name is a play on the medical term bandemia, a condition arising from the body’s attempt to fight infection.
“We thought it was catchy,” Russell said.
Their latest video, a weight loss promotion called “NObesity,” is sung to the tune of the Back Street Boys’ “Incomplete.” It follows their debut video, “I’ll quit, later,” an anti-smoking tune.
The idea for the band came from a class assignment the students were given to plan a community outreach effort to the adolescent population, based on a disease of their choice, Bartholomew said.
“With the way health care is headed, there is going to be more emphasis placed on disease prevention and health promotion,” he said. “We wanted to be new and creative, and we know that music is a huge part of that generation. We decided to go in that direction rather than just using fear tactics.”
Rhodes was a musician and band member before he chose a career in medicine, and has a music studio in his home in Jacksonville.
“We played up and down the coast from the Outer Banks to as far south as Garden City, S.C.,” Rhodes said of his former band.
The BANDemia members sang their own vocals for the two videos they have made, relying on Rhodes’ ability as a vocal coach to get them up to speed.
“We improved a lot from the first video to the second,” Russell said.
The videos appear on social media sites Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, which had about 10,000 hits for the anti-smoking video and about 1,000 hits a day for “NObesity.”
“Social media is so powerful these days. We figured this would be a great way to get our message across,” Russell said.
The students turn to their Facebook page to monitor how many hits they get each day, where the hits come from and the listeners’ ages.
“A lot of our Facebook posts show statistics specific to Greenville,” Russell said. “I think it shows we’re sending a good message to Greenville youth that it’s time to shape up.”
The three noticed another interesting demographic number when they checked their Facebook page, they said.
“We noticed a high number of women ages 35 to 45 also watching our video,” Russell said. “It’s probably because they would have been watching Back Street Boy videos when they were younger.”
To see the “NObesity” music video by BOY BANDemia, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypRc7hFR8oE, or visit the group’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/boybandemia.
Their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Michael Abramowitz at email@example.com or 252-329-9571.
via The Daily Reflector.