Posted by Aaron Wynne on 11/18 at 05:31 PM
Take a walk around campus and notice how many people are plugged into their iPods or Zunes. A vast breadth of music from the mainstream to the underground rests in these music libraries. Penn State has the potential to blossom into a musical landscape that harnesses genres of all sorts and fosters a greater musical consciousness.
However, a few pieces seem to be missing from the puzzle. Here is a list that I have compiled, highlighting a few of the issues preventing State College from becoming a notable musical hub:
The musical scene here is largely dictated by the local bar scene. Unfortunately, this leaves most of the undergraduate population out of the picture. While places like the Bryce Jordan Center, the HUB, and State Theatre bring in artists from out of town, there aren’t many places where local artists can reach out to those under 21. State College is in need of venues that aren’t afraid to host new local and diverse bands looking to make a name for themselves.
Groups like the Student Programming Association and the Songwriters Club provide a good foundation to the campus music scene. SPA works to bring bands to the University, while the Songwriters Club promotes the creation and sharing of original music. Students could benefit from more music-focused clubs. What about a club supporting rock or folk? It’s also imperative that students (especially incoming freshman seeking new friends) are made aware of these associations.
In order to produce more local shows, Penn State students should be given resources to share music. For students, such as freshmen in East Halls, this is a hard thing to come by. If a drum kit was pressed into a dorm room with bass and guitar amps, it wouldn’t take long for a resident assistant to crash the gig. We need to make practice spaces available in dormitories and other areas; it would go a long way to enhance the local music scene.
Finally, to shake the current rhythm on campus, it will take commitment and willingness to explore different kinds of music. For some, it means going out and jamming the best you can. For others, it simply means being a respectful audience member and supporting eclectic local music.Whatever the case, it will take a committed and unified effort to make a change.
Author: Aaron Wynne
Bio: Aaron is a senior at The Pennsylvania State University and is originally from Wells, Maine. He is studying public relations and psychology. His hobbies include playing music, particularly bass, playing and watching sports, and watching movies, his current favorite being Inception. His music tastes are wide spread but his favorites include progressive metal, experimental rock, instrumental rock, and alternative. His favorite bands currently consist of Between the Buried and Me, Animals as Leaders, Red Sparowes, and Dysrhythmia.
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