Music Unifies LU Students

By Kallie Berens

Ten thousand students at Laurentian University, from all around the world, have different interests and hobbies.

One common past time of students is music – whether it be listening to an album while studying or playing an instrument with a group of friends it can be found all around campus if one looks hard enough. Students listen to music while working out in the gym, countless studies have been made proving that listening to music while studying can help improve focus and memory, different genres of music – such as country – dictate themed pub nights and on the Internet people exchange Youtube videos of songs that they like with their friends. Music, to many, is a unifying force that can bring people together.

Kristine Cornejo is a first-year student living on residence who plays piano and sings. After performing at LU’s Got Talent – and winning first place with the group she played in – she performed at the SGA Charity Ball in February. Cornejo, a fan of R&B, met fellow group members Dylan Bakhuis and Kelsey Anthony in September after discovering that they had a mutual interest in performing together. Their “sound” involves beat-boxing, singing, a guitar and rapping.

Fellow group member Kelsey Anthony has been playing guitar since grade five, at first taking lessons but then discovering that her love for music was “slipping.” She has been writing her own material and singing since high school, playing talent shows and youth coffee house events in her hometown of Orangeville.

When asked what her favourite part of playing music was, Anthony said “the fact that people appreciate it. I don’t think I would continue playing music if I didn’t get the positive feedback that I get now. I also think of it as an escape route – some people when they’re stressed out will write or play video games – and I find that music is my escape. When I get overwhelmed with things I just pick up my guitar and I feel better.”

Anthony feels that music is an important part of her life. This summer she made a bucket list with her friend, and on the list was to go to as many concerts as she could.

Anthony is also a “huge Lights fan,” and saw her play at the SGA frosh concert in September. She also jokingly called herself a “huge stalker,” after waiting for two hours for a chance to meet Lights and to get a photograph with her and an autograph.

Anthony said that she is a fan of the artist because of her music, and the fact that she posts video blogs showcasing her raw talent online. “They show that she’s a real person, and I really appreciate that about her,” Anthony said.

When asked what she loves the most about concerts, Anthony smiled. “If I didn’t go to concerts and see the musicians, I feel like I wouldn’t know my love for music. I’ve thought about it, and it wasn’t actually until I arrived at Laurentian and was away from everything and had a chance to think, and I’ve been considering getting an agent. The more my love grows for music, the more I want to do it.”

However, Anthony said that she would like to see more of a music scene at Laurentian. “It’s definitely underground,” she said, “If you aren’t really looking for a music scene here, you’re not going to find it. People don’t really advertise their music skills around the school.”

Iain Park, SGA’s Vice President of Student Services, and Emmett Turkington, a third-year English and Philosophy student, discussed the topic of Laurentian’s music scene over casual Budweisers at the pub. Their different roles in the music scene – Park is an event planner and Turkington plays in a local band – brought different perspectives to light about the music scene at Laurentian.

Park believes that the music scene is growing not just at the university, but all around the city. “There’s a large demand for electronic music in Sudbury, which is great, because it’s transforming from a rock and country city to one that incorporates other  types of music and reflects the diversity of the city,” he said.

“Sudbury has a wide and diverse range of culture, and in that comes a cultural music taste and that’s finally becoming recognized,” said Park, “that’s great, because it shows Laurentian’s growth as a community.”

Turkington agrees, but believes that Laurentian has more room to grow. “I find that Laurentian has the potential to have a really wicked music scene,” he said, “I know a lot of clubs on campus have open mic nights, but those can only go so far – if you have a few kids read poetry, then if an interpretive death metal band wants to play, they would be discouraged because they don’t want to interrupt the vibe.”

Park and Turkington brought up a concern for students, the claim that Park only chooses electronic acts to play SGA concerts. Park said that there is a “large demand” for electronic music, and mentioned that “it is the fastest growing type of music in North America right now.” Turkington added, “if people say that students don’t want to hear electronic music, then why do the shows sell out?”

Turkington brought up a suggestion to bring more music to Laurentian. “Something that I’d like to see at Laurentian is live music coming to the pub,” he said, “I think that there are people here who want to play music but don’t think there are enough opportunities on campus. Probably every third person on campus plays guitar or sings or plays flute but there’s nothing they can do about it.”

Turkington and Park agree that music is a “fundamental part of the university experience,” and that live music is especially important to university students.

“It’s to be a part of the sound, a part of the music,” said Turkington. Park said that shows in the Sudbury area are important – “these artists come to Sudbury and play the smaller venues and they have a more intimate experience – a lot of people get to meet the artists after the show usually, which adds to the intimacy.”

“When you see someone perform in person you’re putting a face to the sound and you can see them for real and it’s such a spectacle to see that you can’t really discredit it,” Turkington said, “artists don’t just make a CD and not tour. They want to tour because they want to bring the music to you in a different way.”