A History of the Front Porch Society
Written by Stephanie Gaber|
February 8, 2016
When students come to William & Mary, they typically do so because it whets their educational appetite. Beneath the atmosphere of late night Swem sessions and group projects lies a society of organizations that students resort to in their free time, such as educational, humanitarian, or even social societies. However, a group of underrepresented individuals are those who represent our music community. In the recent years, music organizations have become more popular on-campus. They typically seek to become outlets for student performers while also satiating the thirst of music connoisseurs and casual listeners alike. One specific music group on campus is Front Porch Society (FPS), a group of music lovers who are seeking to foster a living, breathing music scene on the William and Mary campus. These students believe that there is a magic in live music and that this magic will attract other like-minded individuals.
FPS began in the Spring of 2013 by 4 individuals, Neil Freidman, Dixon Muller, Jesse Barkin, and Samarth Pathak. Freidman was and is the lead singer for the band Major and the Monbacks. After coming to William and Mary, he soon realized that there was little opportunity for individuals to perform their own music. In response, Freidman and friends started organizing live events which eventually expanded to weekly meetings where musicians and music lovers could meet and start fostering a music scene at William and Mary. The organization contacted local bands as well as bands in neighboring cities to come and perform at the College in order for students to enjoy the “magic” of live performances.
Since its inception, FPS has not only unilaterally planned events for students but has also worked with other organizations such as Schoolhouse Block, Hip Hop Society, and even various fraternities to expand the live music scene on campus. FPS has many annual live music events, such as April Thrill, March Jazzness, Front Paddy’s Day, Fall Ball, and Harvest Fest. In November, FPS even organized an on-campus “Rock the Vote” event, using live music to encourage students to vote. More importantly, these events have seen the inception and rise of many student bands such as Talk to Plants, The Masaharu Effect, and Pilot Speaking.
Without a doubt, William and Mary is full of intellectually stimulated students. Many of these students are also creative and artistic in their own right and need an outlet to fulfill these talents. Front Porch Society seeks to create this outlet and provide a space for students to enjoy music together.