Auralai performs for Manila

Marcella Brown

The local band Auralai performed an acoustic show at Manila, a restaurant in downtown Oshkosh, Feb. 3. Stephanie Tschech, cellist and vocalist, and Nate Lehner, guitarist and bassist, created and formed Auralai. The performance consisted of some of Auralai’s original indie-pop songs as well as covers of popular songs, such as “Kiss Me” by Sixpense None The Richer. “Auralai had its first incarnation as a three-piece band with percussion, a guitarist and banjo player, and myself about three years ago,” Tschech said. “And then that band broke up [when] we started recording the album.” “I went solo for a long time before I met Nate, who started recording my first album and I thought, ‘Oh you’re talented. You should put some stuff on this album,’ and then I decided he should just join the band,” Tschech said. Tschech said she has played the cello for 15 years, ever since she saw the instrument in the fourth grade and fell in love with it. “Classical music is really beautiful, but it gets really boring when you play it for 15 years,” Tschech said. “I didn’t want to give up the instrument because I liked it. I had to think, what do other people do with instruments?” According to Tschech, Auralai usually performs over the summer. She said there are typically about three to seven performances a week. “Support your community, and the money you put into it will always come back and benefit you in some way; whether it’s music or art or anything like that,” Tschech said. Lehner, a 2001 UWO alumnus, said it is very important for students to get involved with local entities, whether they are building their practice or starting a business. “It’s the same way with music,” Lehner said. “It has to start somewhere locally; it doesn’t just happen.” Lehner said going to college and aspiring to be something great is universal across majors. UWO student Jay Spanbauer, a friend of the band members and a fellow musician, said Tschech is gifted with a unique voice and songwriting skills. “I’ve had the pleasure to know Stephanie and play music with her,” Spanbauer said. “I’m always excited to watch her perform or listen to new songs she’s creating.” Rachele Weisensel, a manager at Manila, enjoys having local talents like Auralai perform at the restaurant. “The music definitely livens up the atmosphere,” Weisensel said. “Friends and family love to support the local talent [and] it makes it a fun atmosphere.” According to Weisensel, Manila usually sees local talent perform about three to five times per week. Along with supporting local talent, Manila gives a 10 percent discount to college students with valid identification every Tuesday. They perform every Wednesday evening at Manila at 6 p.m.