Sep 30, 2008

Students utilize new Tilley Center to showcase talent

by Kerah Kemmerer

Students crowded into the Tilley Center, Liberty University’s newest hangout, last Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. to watch live performances by unsigned talent on campus.

The Campus Artist Series is an event designed to showcase talented musicians from bands consisting of current and previous Liberty students. The event has been held for several semesters and is sponsored by Student Activities.

“There are tons of musicians around (here) … so during our planning process we thought, why don’t we have an event to accommodate the student musician?” Associate Director of Student Activities Alese Chandler said.

The stage is open to solo artists as well as bands and is willing to showcase any genre that students may wish to perform.

“This show booked a few months ago,” Chandler said. “October is already filled, but there is room for one more band. November, our last show for the semester, has not been booked yet.”

The three bands that performed were Stay Seventeen, Get Up Soldier and Oh, Captain.

Stay Seventeen opened up the night with an eclectic set of rock, pop and punk-infused songs. The band consists of members Patrick Howell, Davis Branch, Josh Spencer and Aaron Marks.

Howell and Branch played in a band together previously for about five years and met the rest of their current band members this past spring semester.

“We’ve been playing since this summer,” Howell said. “Davis writes the main chord progressions and the words, and we just write our own parts based around his ideas.”

Oh, Captain performed next, and its members include Ryan Gerber, Brian Soule, Levi Coates and Lance Welch.

The band is in the stages of recording and will be traveling to Harrisonburg, Va. to record at James Madison University. The band has previously played at Hyland Heights Baptist Church and after this year’s block party in the LaHaye Ice Center.

“We all just kind of started jamming together,” Soule said. “We were like, ‘alright, let’s turn this into a band.’ We played our first show in May.”

Get Up Soldier is comprised of Brad Evans, Adam Knapp, Jared Brown, Daniel Lowery and Trey Falwell.

“We’ve been jamming since early June and this is our third show,” Evans said.

“We don’t try to put on any gimmicks or anything, it’s just straight up rock-and-roll. We don’t want the metal kids to hate it, or the pop kids to hate it. We want everyone to enjoy it.”

The constant stream of students indicated that the event was well received, and although there were several complaints about the decibel level, it did not diminish the size of the crowd.

“I liked it and I would come again,” freshman Courtney Grenke said.

“I think it is really cool how they are letting students participate in events,” junior LeighAnna Renstrom said. “It is a really good atmosphere.”

The series provides some exposure for these up-and-coming bands. My Epic was a band that formed at the university and participated in campus artist events. The band is now signed under Dreamt Music/Facedown Records.

“When you have a venue of this size and you know you can get good attendance at this university, why not have an event that appeals to the student musician?” Chandler said.  


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