- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 07 October 2015
- Written by EMILY CIAVATTA | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Music has a way of bringing people together, and that’s exactly what Blue Hawk Records, Monmouth’s student run record label, achieves. Blue Hawk Records is one of Monmouth’s most diversified clubs; it is professional, fun, expressive, and distinctive, and is completely unique to the University.
Every semester, Blue Hawk Records records and produces a compilation CD of around four to six original songs. Different artists and bands come into the recording studio here on campus and record original work that is then put onto the CD. Blue Hawk Records hosts club meetings every Wednesday and is open to students of all majors.
On Monday, Sept. 28, Blue Hawk Records held auditions for the compilation CD being produced this fall. The auditions began at 7:30 p.m. and took place in Woods Theater right here on campus. The audition process consisted of various bands and solo artists performing a song selection in front of the club representatives and the advisor. A lot of great talent of all different musical genres was showcased at the auditions and everyone that observed was floored by the expertise.
Mike Grant, a sophomore music industry student, is one of the A&R representatives for Blue Hawk Records. He was one of the members of the club who sat in at the auditions and listened to the different artists to get a feel for what their music style was like. “We have never had a record that was all one genre,” Grant said. “We have considered doing a theme record, but that’s all based on what the artists present. We normally don’t have repeats, but it has happened in the past. Blue Hawk Records is growing.”
The genres that were showcased at the auditions ranged anywhere from rock to indie to reggae. As Grant said, the CDs that Blue Hawk Records have put out in the past have never been all one genre, so the members of the club were pleased by the diversity at the auditions. Blue Hawk Records encourages artists and bands of all different genres to come out and audition. Grant was particularly fond of one duo, Jackson Weippert and Dan Gilby. “Those kids were freshmen so they’re new blood,” said Grant. New bands and artists are always welcome.
Joe Rapolla, the Chair of the Department of Music and Theatre Arts and Program Director of Business of Music & Entertainment Media, is the club advisor for Blue Hawk Records. When asked what the goal was for Blue Hawk Records this semester, he said, “To continue to demonstrate the versatility of talent that exists here at Monmouth. We want to keep exploring new sounds because music is always changing.” Blue Hawk Records takes pride in the variety that exists on campus, and they always want to continue to expand to other genres that they have yet to explore. “People try out from majors like political science and social work,” Rapolla said, “The club is open to everyone.”
Ellie Newcombe, a sophomore music industry major who is an active member of Blue Hawk Records and was the club’s general manager last year, sat in at the auditions to listen to the different talents. Newcombe said, “Auditions are going really well. Everyone has done a really good job.”
Each artist and band was talented in their own way and everything was a pleasure to listen to. The auditions were kind of like a mini concert, or an audition episode of a show like America’s Got Talent. Each club member seemed to have an overall really great time listening to the various acts. When asked what the club’s end goal was for the compilation CD being put out this semester, Newcombe said, “I hope we have fewer artists and better recorded stuff. Quality over quantity.” Blue Hawk Records always strives to release something that the entire campus can be proud of.
John Warhol, a criminal justice graduate student, and Ed Donovan, a voice performance graduate student, tried out at the auditions last week. Their duo is called The Dashers and their overall style of music is rock. “It would be cool to record in that studio,” they said. “We record a lot in our basement with free software. We want to do something more professional.” Blue Hawk Records provides people like Warhol and Donovan with the opportunity to gain professional exposure.
Blue Hawk Records is a great club to get involved with, whether you want to be behind the microphone or behind the scenes. Everyone in the club is extremely friendly and welcoming, and they make everyone feel at home. If you are interested in auditioning but missed them last week, be sure to check in for the spring semester auditions.
IMAGE COURTESY of Blue Hawk Records