Live Music on Campus

By: 
Robert Montgomery
Class of: 
2014

While giving campus tours I am often asked, “So, what do you all do here?” I've been asked it enough times that I think I have a worthwhile answer. We're part of Canton, NY, there isn't a wealth of entertainment in the immediate vicinity. However, we are a creative bunch here at St. Lawrence, and as such we bring our own entertainment to campus. Entertainment encompasses a wide range of performances and spans comedy, lectures, visiting writers and plays (just to name a few). But if you enjoy live music of any or all kinds, you’re in luck.

The Association for Campus Entertainment (ACE) is the organization at St. Lawrence responsible for hosting many entertainment related events. ACE has several branches, but the ones related to music are Pub 56, JAVA, and concerts. Pub 56 is our on campus pub and has provided a great space for students interested in performing. We have a regular rotation of students who play Friday night shows at Pub 56, and their talent is rather impressive. We also have a Pub 56 a capella showcase night each semester, which features the university’s three a capella groups.  

JAVA is a theme cottage at St. Lawrence, which puts on a show every week. The unique thing about JAVA is that they book artists, provide hospitality, run the sound and lighting and work the show. For students interested in the concert production business this is a great way to gain experience in the field, and have a lot of fun doing it. It's also just a great service for the student body.

And if this still isn’t enough, we have the ACE Concert Chairs who, along with their committee, plan the two major concerts each year. This year we're excited to welcome Mat Kearney and Sammy Adams to campus on April 19th. During my time at St. Lawrence, the likes of Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, GROUPLOVE, State Radio, Santigold, Ben Folds, TV on the Radio, Sound Remedy, Rubblebucket, Toots and the Maytals, and White Panda have all performed for either our Spring or Fall festivals. Both concerts are held outside and are possible because of months of planning for the students involved. Students circle the dates of these concerts on their calendars and we enjoy not only the music, but the opportunity it affords us to all come together as a campus community.

As much as I have loved watching and working live music shows at St. Lawrence, what is indescribable and so distinctly part of the college experience here are the impromptu shows that happen throughout the hallways and dorm rooms. I am fortunate to know many great musicians and performers on campus, and since my first year have greatly enjoyed hearing them play.  I have included a video of two of my best friends and roommates who are always playing some sort of show whether for others or themselves in the dorm. So if you are wondering “What we do here,” this is a little bit of it.