“Love and Sex” scrolls up a TV screen as Assistant Director of Student Activities Joe Lowder shows the promotional video for his former band, “Sound of Mind.” Lowder, along with Adam Rosen ’09 and David McClendon ’08, was a panelist for “School of Rock,” organized by UCAB’s Homebrew committee.
p. UCAB held the workshop for musicians looking to improve their performance skills. Students heard from a panel of three experienced musicians, and then had a question and answer session. Afterward, they broke into smaller groups and had the chance to talk more in depth about stage presence, sound technicalities and promotion material.
p. Lowder fielded questions on “getting into the business.” He offered firsthand advice on how to break into the music industry, drawing on his past experience with three professional bands.
“When you’re trying to book a gig, you need two things: personal connections and great promotional material,” Lowder said. “Be original. You have one minute to catch people’s attention.”
p. In preparing for the event, UCAB members brainstormed about what student musicians would want to learn. “We’re trying to offer workshops on how to be a better performer, or how to start a band,” Homebrew committee chair Cait Smith ’08 said. “We wanted the best format that was most conducive to speaking with experienced people.”
p. Rosen, a transfer student from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, talked about performing. “Pre-game: Think about the music you’re going to play, think about what you’re bringing to the audience. Think about your target audience and their needs.”
Homebrew performer McClendon is a solo guitarist who also has experience with bands and has worked sound boards since his sophomore year. After playing Bob Dylan’s “Mama, You Been On My Mind,” he gave advice on communicating with sound technicians.
p. “Just be polite,” he said. “Meet and talk when you’re setting up. They’re really important for how you sound, especially if you’re a rock band. Give them a set list with details of what you want turned up or turned down for each song.”
p. Also there to offer advice were Galen Curry ’08 and Jesse DelGizzi ’08 of Ultraviolet Ballet.
p. “The most important thing is to be confident — the audience will see it if you’re not and they won’t get into it,” DelGizzi said. “Go with whatever you do and don’t look back.”
p. Ultraviolet Ballet is a popular student band that has played many campus events, including last Saturday’s Fall Fest. DelGizzi and Curry agreed that confidence was key to a successful performance. “Mean what you sing. Give a confident delivery, even if your voice isn’t good,” said Curry.
p. School of Rock panelists suggested having a game plan, even if feeling unprepared. “Before you go on stage, run through the music in your mind,” Rosen said. “And if you’re not ready, don’t think about it before you go on stage. Come up with a routine. If you have something you can control regardless of how the show goes, it’ll give you confidence.”
p. One participant of School of Rock, Zach Aravich ’11, who plays percussion, guitar and trumpet, said he saw a flyer for the event and decided to check it out. Although he is not looking to become a professional musician, he was inspired to practice.
p. “There are kids on my hall who play instruments,” he said. “We might get together and play.”
p. Homebrew committee member David Cooper said he was pleased with how the event went.
p. “I think it was successful,” he said. “There’s definitely room for improvement, but it was our first time putting an event like this together.”