Opinions, Editorials

Creating A Platform For Student Musicians

Hours after Chris Paterno, A&S ’15, released his single “Unfaithful” through Soundcloud on Wednesday night, a chain for reposting the track was started, spearheaded by the University’s independent record label Chorduroy and spread predominantly through members of the Music Guild. The logic behind this chain was that if enough students posted the singer-songwriter’s track, it could break out of the Boston College network and attract the attention of the greater Boston music community.

This is the new strategy for independent musicians at BC: rather than target other undergraduates through campus events, they have sought to create a platform for student artists to find audiences beyond the walls of the Chestnut Hill campus.

In late April, the Music Guild will stage a “Break the Bubble” music festival at Faneuil Hall, bringing together over 20 BC groups and musicians in an outdoor setting. The festival will continue the work of groups like Chorduroy, which aspire to provide professional resources and performance settings for campus artists to broadcast their work.

These groups serve as model organizations in terms of creating productive relationships in the BC community, and something we hope to see more of at BC.

The University does host a major arts festival once a year for one weekend in the spring, and while it can provide a fun break in a student’s busy day, it is ultimately short lived. The work of students in BC’s music community helps create continuity, spreading the excitement of Arts Fest throughout the year.

Critically, the Music Guild and Chorduroy make it possible for students to disseminate their art beyond the neatly-groomed, strictly-delineated borders of the University campus.

Students can crowdsource the promotion of their work through these organizations so that it reaches ears farther and farther away. By using Chorduroy as a record label and the Music Guild as a coordinator of performances, students have the chance to burst out of the so-called BC bubble and straight into the professional world.

The Faneuil Hall festival makes the work of Music Guild and Corduroy more concrete: it combines the best parts of the Guild’s campus concerts and the record label’s professional production to catapult BC artists into the Boston music community.

This is an intriguing first step, and one that could be replicated in other facets of BC life as well—think how the work of writers, or painters could be better incorporated into the city. It is not often that there is the infrastructure for student artists to step beyond the bubble while maintaining such a strong sense of community.

March 19, 2015