Students work to resurrect Chatham’s forgotten music club

After years of hiatus, Chatham’s music club is starting anew. Because the club is new, members will have a chance to decide what music-related activities they would like to do.

“Music is for everyone,” said the club’s president, Hannah Gregor.

“I love music and I really hope to inspire all of you guys to love different varieties of music,” she said at the club’s first meeting in Laughlin Music Hall on September 25.

This gathering attracted about 20 students. All of them were music lovers, and some were even music majors. They were fans of not only classical music, but also of jazz, rock, dance, and many more varieties.

The Music Club will participate in, attend, and sponsor events related to music on and off campus. Gregor hopes the club will expand to support all kinds of music, dance, and song on campus and in the Pittsburgh community. She even hopes to bring musicians to campus—like students’ bands—that may not usually perform at Chatham.

The Music Club also plans to partner with other clubs, including the Ukulele Club, the Drama Club, and the Artist Collective. Through these partnerships, they can plan events and explore many kinds of music.

Members of Music Club may also have access to discounted Pittsburgh Symphony tickets, to allow for their further musical education.

At the meeting, Gregor addressed the club’s stagnation.

“I am senior, and this club didn’t exist my freshman year, so it’s been gone for a pretty long time, for at least four years,” she said.

Because the club has been inactive for so long, Gregor is hoping for members’ suggestions to help determine the club’s new programming.

Gregor insisted that the Music Club is not only for lovers of classical music.

“There are a lot of aspects in music, so music is really open,” she added.

Gregor revived the club in order to increase opportunities for Chatham students to appreciate music.

“I don’t think a lot of people appreciate music as much as they should,” she said.

“I want people to know music is not just for music majors. It’s for everyone,” Gregor continued. “You never know what you might like until you hear it or participate in it. You never know. There are so many kinds of music. Music is for everyone.”

Cultural Corner: Television plays Pittsburgh

Hipsters, both old and young, spent the evening of Friday, September 25, watching Television — the band, that is.

The show, at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland, was a special one for Television.

“This is this band’s first time playing Pittsburgh,” said frontman Tom Verlaine, which gained a laugh from the audience.  

Television — whose current line up consists of Verlaine on guitar and vocals, Jimmy Ripp on guitar, Fred Smith on the bass, and Billy Ficca on the drums — performed their first album, “Marquee Moon” (1977), in full, along with a few other early songs.

The band, formed in 1973 in New York City, was a pioneer of the punk scene, although their music is cleaner than that of their contemporaries.

“Thrival Innovation + Music Festival” celebrates its second year

The area around Bakery Square was uncharacteristically crowded on the weekend of September 13, as people from all over Pittsburgh showed up for the second annual “Thrival Innovation + Music Festival.”

The festival, presented by PNC Bank and powered by the East Liberty based startup incubator Thrill Mill, is an annual effort to raise funds for the non-profit. According to their website Thrill Mill, founded by Bobby Zappala, “works with entrepreneurs from all industries, offering funding, a depth of hands-on programming, mentorship, investors, growth-focused partnerships and access to a first-class collaborative workspace.”

Branching off of lasts year’s efforts, the festival organizers worked to make this year’s festival bigger and better, offering two days of musical acts in their fenced in main stage area across the street from the Bakery Square complex. Performers ranged from local acts to world famous artists, including Portugal. The Man and Motion City Soundtrack.

Photo Credit: Katerina Sarandou

Photo Credit: Katerina Sarandou

Tickets for the event ranged from $45 for a one day pass, to $350 for a two day back stage pass, and it seemed that there was no shortage of hip twenty-somethings willing to pay for a weekend of top-notch musical acts.

The festival also included numerous vendors, food trucks, and tents with promotional materials for Thrill Mill and Thrival.

Throughout the festivities, festival workers in grey and white “Thrival” t-shirts were a common sight. Security was also a high priority, and an expansive security staff was stationed at the entrance to the music area.

Despite the security and high fences, even people without tickets could enjoy the music as the large sound system made it audible throughout the entire block surrounding the stage.

The festival also boasted free Wi-Fi across all of Bakery Square for the duration of the weekend.

In addition to the main stage area near Bakery Square, the weekend’s events also included several presentations, or “Innovation Events,” given by successful entrepreneurs and business people. According to the website, these events were for people to, “learn from leading experts from across sectors about the innovation trends of today and tomorrow, and meet the innovators and companies developing new businesses in Western Pennsylvania.”

These talks, which had to be registered for ahead of time on the Thrival Festival’s website, began on Monday, September 8, and continued through the end of the festival on Sunday, September 14. They were held at the Bakery Square location, as well as at the festival’s “North Campus” on Broad Street in East Liberty, which is where Thrill Mill’s headquarters are located.

Photo Credit: Katerina Sarandou

Photo Credit: Katerina Sarandou

The weekend also involved the “PNC Pitch,” sponsored by PNC Bank, in which budding startup companies competed for $25,000 of investment money to get their companies off the ground.

When asked about the location of the festival, one staff member noted, “There is a big entrepreneurship scene here, and East Liberty is really an up and coming area,” which, based on the enthusiasm that the neighborhood showed for the event, certainly seemed to be true.

With two days worth of beautiful weather and crowds of young people flocking to the music venue throughout the entire weekend, it appears the Thrival Festival had a successful second year.