Live Music Wednesdays growing more popular

Hannah Misner

Have you ever dreamed of performing on a stage once occupied by Dave Chapelle or Naughty By Nature? Although this may seem like an unattainable aspiration for most musicians, the Campus Activities Team’s Musical Events Committee offers this opportunity every Wednesday night. Musically-inclined students have the chance to stand where Chapelle, Naughty by Nature and other now-famous entertainers stood before they made it big – the stage of the Connelly Center. It is the often unexpected sound of live music one encounters while venturing into the Connelly Center for dinner on Hump Day. It is also the event that confuses most students who anticipated a quiet, eventless dinner and angers others who came to Connelly to hear the incessant hum of ESPN’s “SportsCenter” on the large array of TVs in the sitting area. Regardless of these reactions, the opportunity is one that some students highly value.

Live Music Wednesdays are weekly open-microphone nights held in the Belle Aire Terrace in Connelly Center. For the past few years, CAT-sponsored Wednesday night musical events alternated between open-microphone nights and pre-scheduled live music nights. This year, co-coordinators of the CAT Musical Events

Committee, Adam Kessel and Sarah Barnett, decided to combine the events into Live Music Wednesdays, which run from approximately 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and offer open-microphone opportunities before a booked performance, if possible.

Booked performances include both established on-campus bands and musicians from the outside community.

“It was an easier way to promote the music series and a way to be more consistent with open-microphone dates for the students,” Kessel said. Both Kessel and Barnett acknowledged the effort of new sub-committee chairperson, Amanda DelCore.

“She has been an incredible asset to CAT Music, and we owe her so much credit for the growing popularity of Live Music Wednesdays,” Kessel said.

“Though they may be small in numbers, there are students out there who are genuinely interested in playing and listening to fellow artists,” DelCore said. “And so it’s my aim to provide a place and a time to share their music.”

Dan Clark and Christopher Wright are weekly participants in Live Music Wednesdays and members of the band that won the Battle of the Bands competition last spring at Villanova. These musicians promise a talent-studded and entertaining show.

“Anyone of any skill level can sign up that night and perform,” Wright said. “It is open to everyone.”

Kessel confirmed that “all you have to do [to perform on-stage] is go down to the Belle Aire Terrace at 5 p.m. and put your name on the list of open-microphone performers.”

Groups as well as individual performers are welcome. DelCore said that performers so far have ranged from a solo bassist to acoustic duos to some poetry reading. 

For those who are plagued by stage fright but still want to enjoy the atmosphere, Clark added that, “It is a great place to meet new people who share a common interest.” Clark identifies the event as a stepping stone for Villanova to improve its musical program, which he feels is in need of expansion and improvement. DelCore similarly said that Live Music Wednesdays are about “establishing a dependable event so that the live music community in this campus can grow.”

Audience members are likely to hear familiar songs, since most of the performances are covers. The program has also recently upgraded its equipment with a brand new PA system and microphone stands. By next semester, CAT will have a Web site dedicated to Live Music Wednesdays where students will be able to view the upcoming acts, sign up to volunteer to help and request to play a full set. The Web site will be available through CAT’s homepage under Musical Events. 

Although the event has been growing in popularity, DelCore still wants to increase its following because “the more people that know [about Live Music Wednesdays], the more diverse music there will be to share.”

“There’s something a bit more real, raw and exciting about listening to music live,” she said. “And it’s great when you don’t have to pay anything or drive anywhere to do it.” 

Whether you consciously decide to attend or inadvertently find yourself amidst the sound of live music during dinner, sit back, relax and enjoy what Wright has deemed “Novapalooza.”