Mar 9, 2010

Harmonizing: Campus Artist Series bands share musical talent

by Betsy Abraham

Students looking for a study break and great live music found it at the Tilley Student Center Thursday night during the Campus Artist Series, with the Joy Lippard Trio and The Band You’re About to Hear (TBYATH).

The first act was the Joy Lippard Trio. Though the band members played together at last December’s Christmas Coffeehouse, they have only been an official band for three weeks and the Campus Artist Series was their second live show together.

“The harmony was amazing. They werereally well-formed,” sophomore Jill Davis said. “They followed each other’s lead and read each other well. I felt like they were really passionate about what they were doing.”

Lead singer of the Joy Lippard Trio, freshman Joy Lippard, has been writing songs since she was 11. She said that she writes songs that are reflective of her personal faith, but that audiences can still relate to. One song, “Here Comes the Parade,” talks about how life is often unexpected and similar to a parade, it can be hard to know what is coming around the corner.

Unlike most bands that use drum sets, the Joy Lippard Trio featured a djembe, a type of hand drum that helped contribute to the band’s fresh, organic sound.

Junior Jennifer Boyet said she is not usually a fan of female singers, but she enjoyed the Joy Lippard Trio.

“It was really entertaining. It had kind of a folksy feel,” Boyet said.

TBYATH has been playing shows since December 2008 and this was their second time performing at the Tilley Student Center. Josh Tomasek, drummer for TBYATH describes their sound as a “stir fry” because all five members of the band bring different elements to the group’s overall sound. Junior Mary Pat Smissen, lead singer, said the band’s rock-folk combination sounds like a combination of Shane and Shane and Hillsong.

The band read Bible passages and featured songs centered around scripture, making the show a worship experience. One of their songs, “No Fear,” is about 1 John 4 and how the Bible says that perfect love casts out fear.

“I think people live in fear. Fear has to do with worry and worry has to do with self, which is ultimately pride. It is really just people being prideful and not believing God and what he said,” Smissen said.

Smissen and guitarist Whitney Walker aim to write lyrics based on personal experience and the idea that people can have fearless freedom in Jesus.

“We’re all just people and we go through different things on a daily basis,” Walker said. “But in the long haul if you know that Jesus saves and you understand that part of his love, then he’s the only one that matters. It’s freedom and it’s not all that bad.”

Toward the end of the show, Smissen told the crowd that they were loved, a message that TBYATH feels can often be taken for granted.

“I think people need to know that, because as much as we talk about it here, I don’t think people understand as much the living in freedom part. We believe God but we don’t believe in Him,” Smissen said.

Junior Brittany Doughty had never been to a Campus Artist Series performance and was not sure what to expect, but said she had a great time watching TBYATH perform.

“It was really personal. Their songs are amazing and the fact that they write them is so amazing. The band is so grounded in Christ, and they know exactly what they want to do,” Doughty said.

Senior Clayton Womack thought TBYATH had great vocals.
“I think that they’re really good song writers and they have really good stage presence. Her (Smissen’s) voice and the way they harmonize together really stuck out,” Womack said.

For more information about the Joy Lippard Trio visit or

For more information about TBYATH visit their Facebook page or check them out on

Contact Betsy Abraham at

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