Last month, it was difficult to walk around the Claremont Colleges without hearing the faint sounds of live music. Pomona College-based 5C radio station KSPC and the Pomona Events Committee (PEC) collaborated to provide ten free concerts across the campuses for 5C November Music Month.
“Two years ago, PEC Live Music, then Committee for Campus Life and Activities (CCLA) Live Arts, organized a November Music Month where we threw a bunch of shows, such as a Ty Segall, Tennis, and Kisses concert, amongst others,” KSPC DJ Ariana Mygatt PO ‘13 said. “We coincidentally were planning a lot of shows for the month of November and decided to just give it a name. This year we had a little more preparation and decided to really open it up and get all other 5C event-planning groups involved.”
Shows that took place ranged from an acoustic set by songwriter Julio Sharp PO ’13 with free Coop milkshakes for audience members to Pitzer College’s famed Reggae Fest to an open mic night at the Motley Coffeehouse.
“We even did a fun thing at KSPC where we planned different themes for the DJs every week,” Mygatt said.
One of the better-attended shows was The Strokes Covers Night at Pomona, where students performed renditions of songs from the Strokes album Is This It?
Vocalist Emily Morris SC ’14, who performed “The Modern Age” with guitarist Wes Haas PO ’15 and beat boxer Pranay Yeturu PO ’16, said, “Our group came together very last minute, but Wes and Pranay are so talented that we were able to pull it off and have fun with it. Covers Night has such a relaxed, playful vibe that totally dissipated my nerves.”
5C November Music Month organizers collaborated with performance spaces and music clubs already present on campus.
“The Katie Clover show on November 8th was super awesome and an intimate part of the Motley’s ‘Music Nights.’ Katie Clover is a band from Oakland, CA consisting of three amazing female folk musicians,” said Tessa Paoli SC ’14, Live Music Director at KSPC. “Considering it was a Thursday night, most of the audience was doing their homework and studying. Although it was a studious atmosphere, people lifted their heads from their books and engaged with the band members.”
Pitzer Music Coalition, currently co-led by Micah Klareich PZ ‘13 and Kellen Wohl PZ ’13, is a student-run organization open to 5C students that provides a community for musicians to collaborate and form student bands, and it has a practice space available on Pitzer’s campus. The group held a Groove at the Grove event called Jungle Boogie at Pitzer’s Grove House Nov. 30.
“We have been in contact with Amaru Tejeda PO ’13, who organized the 5C November Music Month. He helped put our event on the November Music Month Facebook page that attracted more people to our event,” Wohl said. “All together, there were five recently formed student bands with musicians from Pitzer and Pomona. There was a diverse mix of rock, punk, indie, jazz/funk fusion and electronic music featured at our Jungle Boogie event.”
“We wanted to create a fun, lively atmosphere for people to enjoy live music from student bands and socialize at the awesome Grove House space,” he added. “We had a great turnout ranging from 75 to 100 people over the course of the night, which exceeded our expectations and made the event a success in our eyes. Gauging the reactions from both performers and attendees of the event, I would say that people were excited and thrilled to have such a successful event featuring live music from student bands occur at Pitzer’s Grove House.”
Mygatt said, “There is so much going on in Claremont at any given time, and so many of those events are music-related. I’m glad we got to expand it this year, joining organizers and students from the different colleges under one awesome, rockin’ goal.”