Kate Koenig, Arts Editor
The SUNY Oneonta Songwriter’s Club has been working hard this semester—hard at fundraising, enhancing the club experience, and becoming involved in the community—and their work had a nice payoff this weekend with a trip down to New York City.
This past Saturday, 18 members of the club woke up at 9 a.m. and took a bus down to the city to participate in a songwriter showcase in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The show was held at a night club called Cameo, located at 93 North 6th Street, which has a café and performing space which has held the likes of Sarah Silverman and Zach Galifianakis in its weekly comedy shows. Other featured artists as well as 17 of the Songwriter’s Club member performed Saturday afternoon in an event advertised as the “North 6th Discovery Series: A New Williamsburg Open Mic Showcase.”
The Songwriter’s Club was around years ago, but fell apart and reformed just last fall with alumni Brandon Snell as president; this year, Julia Yarinsky is at the head, and the club’s activity has grown rapidly. The club has organized CD sales for fundraising, songwriter showcases, which give club members (as well as other local musicians) an opportunity to gain performing experience, multiple guest lectures, and a songwriting competition, judged by professors of the music department. As Yarinsky said, “Not only did [these activities] fundraise for our trip, but they also gave us experience that benefitted what we were going to be doing in New York City.” Together, the members of the club raised $850, and with the addition of some SA funding, were able to afford their stay at a Holiday Inn in Brooklyn as well as transportation and other expenses.
The trip was also made possible with the help of Advisor and Music Professor Tony Scafide, who connected the students with SUNY alumni Dan Mullins. Mullins, whose personal company is called Vis A Vis, was the person responsible for booking the show, hosting it and promoting it, in addition to getting ASCAP involved. ASCAP promoted it on their website, and a representative from the performing rights organization even attended.
Many other people who attended happen to be involved in the NYC music industry, and the songwriters had the opportunity to meet with producers and representatives from record labels, management companies and publishing companies. Following the show, they went out to dinner with Oneonta alum Seth Bohen, who currently manages Norah Jones. E-board member Luca Perotti described the trip as a “good bonding experience,” and said that by the end, “We didn’t want to leave—it wasn’t long enough!”
More events can be expected from the Songwriter’s Club as next semester, they are planning to host a one-day festival featuring a daylong celebration of the music of Bob Marley and the Wailers. Prof. Scafide’s Rock and Pop Repertory Ensemble will be performing in the “Mostly Marley Festival” along with local reggae and ska acts.