Valentine’s Day… at your own tempo: AMP puts on event with music, food in Sadler to celebrate holiday of love


Friday, Feb. 17, a Valentine’s Day-themed Homebrew event took over Lodge One in Sadler from 6-8 p.m. Homebrew, a committee within Alma Mater Productions, hosts small-scale performances that allow music enthusiasts to showcase their talent in front of a casual audience. This was just one of many such concerts hosted by AMP, a volunteer and student-run programming organization on campus that provides activities and entertainment for the student body.

AMP Graduate Advisor Olympia Ghosh M.Ed. ’25, shared the inspiration behind the event. 

“Homebrew is always based on student talent, and so the committee chair, Clara, is always inspired by bringing in multiple audiences,” Ghosh said. “Around this time of the month, it’s just a very good vibe, and it catches the season, so that’s mostly the inspiration.” 

As they walked into Lodge One, students were met with an ambiance characteristic of Valentine’s Day, complete with white tablecloths, dim lighting and pink and red decorations. There was also a craft station stocked with colorful construction paper, markers and glitter, where students could make and decorate their own Valentine’s Day cards to give to someone special or to keep to remember this magical night. Ghosh described the students she advises and how the event came together. 

There’s a lot of collaboration within the organization of AMP, and everyone just does a really good job improvising,” Ghosh said. “I just like seeing everyone do their job really well, and we enjoy doing it too.” 

The student artists also enjoyed their role, with their performances being the highlight of the event. A variety of songs, music genres and instruments kept the student audience engaged throughout the evening. One student artist, Sophia Skiavo ’24, sang “The Bug Collector” by Kenny Hendrix, “Northern Attitude” by Noah Khan and Hozier and “Not Strong Enough” by Boygenius. A routine performer in Homebrews since her freshman year, Skiavo shared why she keeps coming back for more. 

“I love Homebrews just because there’s so much freedom,” Skiavo said. “I really like choosing covers and doing them in a different style. I’ve done ‘Heart of Glass,’ I’ve done Phoebe Bridgers, and it’s just a setting that is very unique that I appreciate for me to just try new things and share them with my friends and people that I don’t know.” 

Skiavo also does Homebrew events with her band, Get Back Soon, and plans to perform with the band at AMP’s next Homebrew in April. She recounted how far her band has come since its formation in freshman year, including remaining active with routine Homebrew performances. 

“We would record our stuff to put on Facebook back when it was online because of Covid,” Skiavo said. “But ever since then, we stuck together.” 

Another student performer, Will Pfeiffer ’24, sang “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me for a Sunbeam” by The Vaselines, “I’ve Just Seen a Face” by the Beatles and one of his own original songs that he has been working on, called “I Might Be in Love.” He is currently writing an album and considers the song he performed as one of his best. Pfeiffer shared his sentiments about the benefits of Homebrews, including how it gives student artists low-pressure environments to try out new things and practice performing. 

“They’re a fun, reliable gig,” Pfeiffer said. “They get me to go out and play more, which is something that I really appreciate. I feel like I get some of that good extrinsic motivation, you know? I mean, I play guitar all the time anyway, but it’s kind of fun doing it in front of people.” 

A sizable student crowd attended the AMP event to support the performers and celebrate Valentine’s Day. Eleni Orphanos ’27 commented on how the evening’s performances tied together a range of themes characteristic of the season of love. 

“We’ve heard a little bit about love, a little bit about heartbreak. You know, I feel like you’ve kind of covered everything that goes along with Valentine’s Day,” Orphanos said. “It’s been really awesome to be able to listen to everything.” 

This Valentine’s Day event also presented an opportunity to celebrate all kinds of love, not just romance, as shown through the wide variety of songs performed that evening. Skiavo described how making cards with her friends created an opportunity to celebrate other relationships in the Valentine’s Day spirit. 

“I had everyone draw their self-portrait and their name, and I’m going to post this on my social media later, so not necessarily romantic vibes, just bringing people together and bringing up different ideas of love and friendship and companionship,” Skiavo said.

The stereotype that Valentine’s Day has to be celebrated with fancy meals and intricate dates was also turned on its head. Ghosh emphasized how the AMP Homebrew provided an opportunity for students to do something different or more relaxed to celebrate the holiday. 

“It provides an alternative for students and couples and whoever doesn’t want to go out and party,” Ghosh said. “So it’s just a nice alternative for them and kind of a means to stay on campus, to stay close to home and celebrate with something nice. It’s got a kind of semi-formal ambiance to it, too, so it’s got good energy.” 


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