There are certain moments and sensations that draw you back to distinct moments or times in your life: the smell of your favorite food when you were little, the laugh of someone you once knew, the sight of a stranger who looks just like someone you went to elementary school with as a child. One of the most defining of these factors is music; songs can act like pinpoints on a map of growing up, different for every individual person but finding ways to overlap that bring us together when we connect at a concert or, say, college.
The Small Concert Series, hosted monthly by the Wooster Activities Crew, seeks to enrich the music we’re all going to remember sharing someday when we look back on college by showcasing lesser-known artists from the variety of genres enjoyed by Wooster students.
“WAC Small Concerts are about supporting smaller artists, whether locally or anywhere, and being a more consistent reflection of music that students want to hear more of or support more,” says Lauren Brown ’21, the director of the Small Concert Committee.
On Saturday, Sept. 15, the first of this year’s small concerts was held in the Alley, where students gathered with popcorn and the College’s ubiquitous boxed water to enjoy the music of Lauren Eylise, a singer-songwriter from Cincinnati whose extraordinary talent and personability simultaneously made the room feel like a famous, packed venue and an individualized concert experience for each attendee.
She cracked jokes and shared personal anecdotes between powerful songs and monologues regarding affirmations and self-love, at one point saying, “The universe has a funny way of aligning your steps, once you surrender yourself to it.”
Each moment of her set felt like a valuable piece of life advice and created a place of calm and fun, welcome amidst the end of a long week on campus. The concert was the perfect way to inaugurate The Alley, which will now serve as the Small Concert Series’ permanent home. Whereas in the past, the Small Concert Committee had to devote most of their time and energy to the setup, takedown, and other technical aspects of putting on shows, a consistent venue allows them to allot that time to the musical content they are presenting.
“Now it’s all an effort devoted to bringing who we want to campus and for students to make music and perform as student openers,” says Brown. “There’s a lot of motivation right now among students to make creating music more comfortable and more accessible for everyone. I want Small Concerts to be a place for that, and for this year to be more about what everyone on campus wants in a music scene.”
With the next Small Concert scheduled for Oct. 20, the Small Concert Committee is looking for suggestions for the rest of the year from Wooster students.
“Students can recommend genres or specific artists by talking to anyone in WAC or emailing me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).” For all you know, the band you love could become someone else’s new favorite, and a catalyst for the memories you have of Wooster many years into the future.