One of the main reasons I was interested in coming to St. Olaf was my desire to play music. My high school didn’t have much of a music scene that catered to my taste, so I had high hopes that St.Olaf would. I had just picked up the electric guitar and I was anxious to play house shows and be in a punk band. But when I finally arrived at St. Olaf, I found this dream to be very distant from the reality.
There wasn’t much of a campus band scene, I never attended a house show because I couldn’t find any, and consequently I did not play music for quite a while.
It was a weird time and place for me. But then I was encouraged by my friend Adam to play bass. I saved up about 200 bucks and I finally got back into playing music again. The next thing I knew, I found myself halfway through my junior year and playing shows. Snippets of my original perception of Olaf were slowly coming into fruition. Suddenly, music began making its way back into my life.
While this change was happening, the notion of community at St. Olaf became even clearer for me. I didn’t care much for the word and for what it meant, but somehow I was compelled to act on what I wanted a community to be like musically. I vividly remember the Beck Song Reader Project that happened last year in Fireside. It displayed the potential of the St. Olaf community’s musical creativity. This is what I wanted DNNR PRTY to accomplish this year, and we did it.
As a senior at St. Olaf, I have had the opportunity to see a drastic change in the music community, especially compared to what I saw freshman year. My senior year has confirmed that we are not a school full of jam bands that lack originality – in fact, we are the opposite. Authenticity exists if we push it and creativity will find its way.
These past two weeks, I’ve been proud to be an Ole because it seems we are now entering a new phase of St. Olaf’s musical history. When I was a freshman, I saw Dewi Sant open for Cloud Cult. The contrast between the audience and artist were incredibly disparate. Yet I did not find the same crowd when everyone silenced themselves to hear Appomatox play. There are many things that I dislike about St. Olaf, but campus music is not one of them.
I hope the creativity and originality of the flourishing music scene continues and that we can become a role model for other campuses’ attempts to create strong musical communities.
So to the remaining underclassmen of St.Olaf: over the next couple of years, enjoy what this awesome campus music scene has to offer. You all are in for some treats.
Lastly, I sign off this letter with lots of delight knowing that my dream for St. Olaf may finally be coming true.