The Music Recital Hall was filled with the sounds of various instruments and voices as Broncos showcased their talents and performed their original pieces in front of live audiences. Directed by Arthur Winer, the music department presented the 16th Annual Singer-Songwriter Showcase on Thursday, April 25 and Friday, April 26.
“We are always refining and building upon what we did in previous years,” Winer said. “It started out as just playing on each other’s songs. In the past few years we started having this idea of having bands. So, we refined that, and it worked well this year where each group did its own thing and had its own style.”
Last October, 60 students auditioned to perform their original songs for this two-night event. Out of those 60, 20 students were selected and added to the class to learn how to compose and produce their song.
After seven months of work, these students performed the final version of their song last Thursday and Friday night.
“This is my third time doing the songwriter showcase and I always wanted to do this since I saw it my first year,” said Anthony Culpepper, a fourth-year music industry studies student. “I had a couple songs that I had written myself and I wanted to see if I could stand up to the chopping block and see if anyone else would like my songs as well.”
The class for these songwriters began spring semester once they were assigned into four groups of five to become a band.
The class met every Wednesday to assist one another in his or her group to develop each student’s song and create a whole production.
From the evolution of lyrics to layering instruments, the bands helped each song grow from the raw version each student auditioned with, to the one they belted out on stage.
“Every Wednesday you meet with your band and run through the set,” said Dexie Martin, a second-year music industry studies student. “You start from the ground up basically and figure out which instrumentation, backing and mood you want for your song. You lay the foundation, build the frame and then layer it up until it’s ready. It is a lengthy process, but the outcome is so worth it.”
The concert was divided into four sections, one for each band, each produced by one or two students.
Each band performed every student’s song and assisted one another.
Each member of the band played the instruments and provided the backup vocals that students’ songs needed.
During the set, the band would rotate throughout performances and play various instruments and serve as backup vocalists.
“It is like a weight is lifted off your shoulders. It is so amazing to see the work that was put into these songs,” Culpepper said. “Once you are up there performing it is just for that one moment in front of the crowd and they get to see the final result. They do not get to see the rest of the work behind it. Each song, for whoever wrote it, carries that same weight of misery, joy and everything that goes into song development.”
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