On Nov. 20, self-described “orchestral rock” band Miracles of Modern Science performed in the Lion’s Pause at the first-ever KSTO-sponsored concert. Calling themselves a “string-section in mutiny,” the band incorporates elements of rock and pop played with a “decidedly pre-rock” instrumentation: double bass, violin, cello, mandolin and drums.
The result is a refreshingly original sound that is appropriate for KSTO’s first concert, part of the student-run radio station’s effort to expand its presence on campus.
“Our primary goal with the concert was to bring KSTO out into the St. Olaf world a little bit more,” said Carolyn Bernhardt ’14, this year’s KSTO station manager. “Between tabling endlessly for weeks, our PR team publicizing the event really well and Miracles of Modern Science putting on a really fun and engaging show, I would personally deem the event a success.”
“Our goal, like that of any radio station, is to increase listenership,” said assistant station manager Mitchell Kampf ’15. “We believe hosting more live events in the future will further this goal as KSTO builds a more physical presence on the campus.”
According to Bernhardt, the concert was a happy coincidence.
“One of the band members from Miracles of Modern Science, Josh Hirschfeld, emailed me in October saying they were on tour and they wanted to play at St. Olaf between shows they had scheduled in the Cities,” Bernhardt said. “I presented this possibility to the staff at KSTO, who met it with great enthusiasm. We then set the ball into motion, getting their contract drawn up, booking space in the Pause, etc. It was a great learning experience for all of us.”
Students may wonder why KSTO is putting on concerts when there are other organizations on campus whose main mission is to bring live music to campus. Bernhardt responded that she does not see any conflict of interest.
“Nationwide, radio stations work to shed light on the great music that is being made today,” Bernhardt said. “Part of that responsibility is hosting live concerts to showcase the kind of music the station supports. The Current [from Minnesota Public Radio] does this quite eloquently all the time, as do most radio stations. We’d really like to be people’s go-to for either finding new music they love, or thinking about music in new ways, and we think doing so in a live concert setting is a great way to do it.”
KSTO’s plans for the rest of the year reflect this focus on reaching out to listeners.
“We plan to expand on the Beck Song Reader concert that was held last year,” Kampf said. “More details to come.”
“And hopefully we can put something else together this Spring as well,” Bernhardt added. “We’d like to plan one more big hurrah before the year ends.”
KSTO will not just be holding concerts and events.
“Coming second semester, KSTO will have a mobile app for the first time,” Kampf said. “You’ll be able to stream right from your mobile device and even set alerts to be reminded when your friends’ shows are on the air.”