MEISA’s Kickoff Concert showcases three St. Thomas bands

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About 50 students attended the St. Thomas Music and Entertainment Industry Student Association Kickoff Concert Wednesday night in the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium.

Three St. Thomas student bands performed at the event: Lotus Eater, Grape Whales, and Pretty Perry and the Kidney Stones. Sophomore Emily Leininger, MEISA board member, said the concert is the club’s first event. MEISA also contributed funding for the Cloud Cult concert April 30.

“We have some cool stuff planned for the future,” she said. “We’re just kind of trying to get our feet on the ground and make some contacts.”

Junior Michael Cyrs, MEISA president, started the club last year as part of an introduction to business final class project. The project initially requested funding for an SXSW music festival, but St. Thomas would not provide funding unless a club was involved.

“We started working on that and eventually got involved in the club work instead of that one event, and now we have a club,” Cyrs said.

There are multiple nationwide MEISA chapters for students interested in the music and entertainment industries. MEISA is part of the larger Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association, of which St. Thomas has been a member for several years. MEIEA is an international organization that started in 1979 with the purpose of bringing educators and leaders of the music and entertainment industries together.

“We’re just really hoping to keep bringing some diverse music to campus,” Leininger said. She said she hopes the club will expand and “grow beyond just the music majors on South Campus and that more people get involved.”

Many St. Thomas students said they enjoyed the live performances and supporting their friends in the bands.

“It was a lot of fun to go to this on a Wednesday night,” sophomore Saarah Berenjian said. “It’s good for the student body. It keeps us interested.”

Sophomore Jackie Kruchoski agreed.

“The variety (of music) was great,” she said. “It was cool to see all these people interact and dance.”

Rebecca Omastiak can be reached at

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