By Mitchell Saltzman
Students, friends and family packed the sold-out Music Recital
Hall last Thursday to hear Cal Poly students perform their own
original songs at the 7th Songwriter Showcase.
This marks the sixth time in a row that the show has sold out,
with the proceeds from the event being used to fund music
As the name implies, the Songwriter Showcase is an event that
gives aspiring Cal Poly songwriters the opportunity to perform
their own songs in front of a live audience while working with
student producers to ensure that their songs are the best they can
This quarter’s showcase featured a total of 21 songs over the
course of two hours with a 10 minute intermission.
From those 21 songs, a wide range of musical genres were
represented including rock, hip hop, ska, funk and jazz.
Some songs were fun and playful, like “Dead Week,” by Phillip
Pitcher, a fifth-year computer engineering and music student.
The fast paced and upbeat song was about wishing for summer
vacation to come. Others were very personal and close to the
Melinda Baker, a first-year music production student, brought a
vase of roses and wore her mother’s cowboy boots as she performed
her song “The Color is Gray,” a song that she hoped would give
comfort to anyone who has ever gone through the sadness of losing a
“I remember it was the week that California got the heaviest
rains,” said Baker with regards to writing her song. “I was just
seeing gray because I was in such a state of shock and sadness, and
this song came out.”
The big surprise of the showcase came at the top of the second
act when the director and creator of the Songwriter Showcase,
Professor Arthur Winer, strapped on a guitar and started playing a
song he wrote called “First Date.”
“I had never done it before, so I figured, why not,” said Winer.
“I had a song that two of the other song writers, Marla McCaw and
Jackie Daneri, thought would be fun to do, and they kind of acted
The audience was also entertained during the intermission when
Pitcher took to the piano and began playing songs from video games
like Final Fantasy 7 and Super Mario Brothers.
Once the show let out, the audience’s reaction was extremely
While first-year animal science student, Amaris Chan, enjoyed
the show as a whole, the song “Blue Rivers” by Matthew Matsumoto, a
fourth-year communication student, stood out in her mind as a
“I like the uniqueness of his voice,” said Chan.
Korinne Poynter, a second-year environmental engineering student
also praised the show for its variety.
“I’ve never been to one before, so it was very interesting,”
said Poynter. “It was nice seeing the different types of artists
and different instruments that I’ve never seen before.”
Poynter’s favorite song was “My Daisy,” a song written and sung
by Carol Guerra that featured a wide assortment of unique
instruments, including a vibraphone, bongos, a triangle and a piano
in addition to the usual guitar, bass and drums.
“I thought it [the showcase] was the best one yet,” said Winer.
“I always think that, but I really did think it was great.”
Eric Pham, a second-year music production student who wrote and
performed the song “Starry Eyes” in this quarter’s showcase, agreed
“It’s getting better every quarter, and hopefully it will get
better in quarters to come,” said Pham.
Reach Mitchell Saltzman at:
Pedro Corona/Poly Post
Musicians singing to another sold out show
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