Free live performances, free t-shirts and free food are all music to college students’ ears. Those things, all attracted St. Thomas students to the Tuesday release party for Volume II of the UST Sampler.
Last year KUST and the Music Industry Club collaborated on the first-ever UST Sampler featuring original music and performances from St.Thomas students; this year the event has expanded into the curriculum.
“I think last year was such as success because it established what we are and who we are and, moving forward, what we want to be,” Senior and KUST executive producer Holly Dockendorf said. “I think it really helped to build that notoriety about what we do.”
Steve Cole, clinical professor of music industry and head of the Music Industry Program, created a new course called Emerging Models in the Music Industry to get students experience planning musical events like these. By doing so, a connection between the study of the music industry and the actual practice is formed.
“I am a big fan of connecting students’ extracurricular work to course work,” Cole said. “It’s just so wonderful to see that innovation in action and most importantly to have the opportunity to support that innovation. I hope the connection to the course gives it that continuity so that we see it happen year after year after year.”
Senior Mcauley Garrett, KUST’s executive producer, said this event is important for St. Thomas’ thriving music scene.
“We really wanted to get out to the St. Thomas community that there are these musicians that you might not see as musicians, but they can really bring the house down,” Garrett said.
Senior and President of the Music Industry Club Nick Meyerson was recently named the best R&B artist in the Twin Cities by citypages.com, and he performed a duet with Nyasia at the release party that got the audience dancing along to the music.
“Performing in front of an audience gives new life to the music … the energy that cannot be replicated when you are performing in front of an audience. That’s what I get most excited about,” Meyerson said.
Seven artists featured on the sampler performed their original songs in front of St. Thomas students, faculty and community members. Audience members were also encouraged to take a free CD.
Sophomore Jonathon Shields joined the Music Industry Club where he was encouraged to submit his original work for the sampler. This year Shields performed his original song “Home.” He hopes to continue his passion for music after he graduates from St. Thomas.
“Music — I said it was my major, but really, my whole life revolves round it,” he said.
The collaboration formed a family of musicians and like-minded individuals who love music, according to Garrett. Whether they play it, listen to it or engage in any aspect of it, they can gather together and share what they love.
Garrett and Dockendorf see endless possibilities for growth and are comforted by the underclassman involvement and continued dedication to the program.
“The best thing that happen for me at college was the sampler, and the fact that it gets to live on is really special,” Dockendorf said.
Carolyn Meyer can be reached at email@example.com.