‘A cathartic release’: MuCo Mini-Music Fest celebrates student music at the 5Cs

A band member plays the guitar while singing into a microphone as a green light shines on him.
Pomona College’s Musician’s Coalition hosted a mini-music fest on Oct. 6. (Nicholas Hernandez • The Student Life)

Music is a big part of the college experience, from the music playing in headphones as students shuffle to class to the playlist that keeps a party going until midnight. MuCo, Pomona College’s Musician’s Coalition, hosted a mini-music fest on Thursday, Oct. 6 to bring 5C students together and celebrate a shared love of music. 

The festival featured seven 5C bands, including Dad’s House, Cheese Gloves, Monday Evening, Sweater Collective, Blemish, Como Se Llama and Fischli’s Animals. From 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., students danced and sang along to both song covers and band originals, with songs like “Shadowplay” by Joy Division and “Borderline” by Tame Impala. 

One thing was consistent between musicians and attendees alike: a communal love of music. Hazel Escott PO ’25, vocalist and cellist for both Cheese Gloves and Drive Thru Therapy as well as a MuCo member, spoke about this passion.

And so I really enjoy that music brings people together in that way, and it bridges cultures and languages in a way that nothing else can, which I think is really beautiful.

Hazel Escott PO ’25


“People have deep connections to music that I’ve only ever seen maybe through food —  the way that a food smells brings you back to your childhood and stuff,” Escott said. “When I hear certain songs, [it] really transports me to a different space and time and transports me to memories with certain people. And so I really enjoy that music brings people together in that way, and it bridges cultures and languages in a way that nothing else can, which I think is really beautiful.”

Another featured performer in the event, Max Uehara PO ’25 –– the vocalist and bassist for Blemish and Como Se Llama –– echoed Escott’s sentiments.

“Music is such a cathartic release for me,” Uehara said. “I’m in it for the catharsis for the playing very fast and very loud. It’s a good way to blow off stress after your classes in the day. It’s a good way to get the blood flowing.

The performers weren’t the only ones to enjoy the event. Attendee Amanda Gomez PZ ’23 enjoyed how MuCo brings students across the 5Cs together. 

“I think you’re seeing a lot of multi-C or multi-college bands popping up, and as a result, you’re seeing a lot of people coming together to watch those bands, so it’s really cool,” Gomez said. “For me, music is healing and relationships and culture.”

The mini-fest was one of the first MuCo events of the year, which Escott worked to create as an opportunity for musicians across the 5Cs to get together.  

“I kind of decided that the big club message is that we want to be like a resource for bands and an opportunity for musicians to get to know each other,” Escott said. “And I wanted to make that more accessible. It wasn’t very accessible last year, and so this felt like a way of just everyone’s gonna play and you can come and stop by and see it.” 

Both bands and fans alike said they appreciate how MuCo makes music and student bands more accessible at the 5Cs. 

“This probably wouldn’t have been possible without MuCo,” Uehara said. “I mean, not only the concert, but just the ability to get bands together. … It’s amazing that they have [a] room there and you can just walk in with the proper clearance and just play.” 

Gomez saw the music festival as a great way to get 5C students together and thought organizations like MuCo could use more institutional support for their events.  

“I think music is serving as such a great tool for students right now,” Gomez said. “[They should have] a lot more institutional support and large events that are still somewhat safe.”

To many students’ delight, MuCo has more in store for the semester.  

“We have a karaoke night planned at Dom’s Lounge at the end of this month,” Escott said. “We have a battle of the bands in November, and then we’re trying to host a bigger music festival with longer sets and maybe multiple stages, but fingers crossed [it happens]. That’s a little bit far-fetched dream right now, but hopefully that’ll be in December to kind of round out this semester.” 

After a year of COVID-19 protocols, when 5C-wide club events were suspended, student organizations have wanted to bring the 5C community together. This year, clubs like MuCo are bridging the gap between the colleges through a shared love of music.

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