Group gives UWO musical worldview

Hibah Ansari

The UW Oshkosh Students for Music is a student-run campus organization that is not only bringing in chamber groups from all over the country, but breaking common misconceptions about the classical music world with each concert it organizes. Voted “Most Improved Student Organization” by the Oshkosh Student Association, SFM is dedicated to setting up shows for small group ensembles who play classical instruments, but not necessarily classical music for the Chamber Art Series, according to SFM Vice President Erica Kennedy. “We’re bringing in a lot of eclectic things, not things that you would normally see in this area,” Kennedy said. According to SFM Secretary Karen Warren, they will be hosting a concert for The Cat’s Pajamas, a vocal group featured on America’s Got Talent, in February. The Cat’s Pajamas, who are appealing to the increasingly popular emergence of acapella in pop culture, will be performing at the Arts and Communication Music Hall. Previously, SFM have brought in the Maniacal 4, a musical group whose first CD was comprised completely of ‘70s and ‘80s rock covers, as well as the Turtle Island Quartet, according to Kennedy. “Turtle Island Quartet is a traditional string quartet, but they play all jazz music,” Kennedy said. “It’s a really unique set up; they’re not playing the Bach, Beethoven or Vivaldi that you would normally hear a string quartet playing. They’re doing Miles Davis.” An organization created for and by students, SFM is able to make classical music a more enjoyable experience for their fellow peers at UWO with shows that are free to students. Kennedy said being completely student-run is something very unique to SFM, as they are one of the only groups in the country of this nature. “It’s so insane that tiny little Oshkosh has this group,” Kennedy said. “It’s a great way to get experience in the music industry without, you know, throwing yourself into L.A.” Warren said she is developing skills beyond her class work through SFM. “I am faced with real world situations and challenges quite often,” Warren said. “It is one thing to sit in a class and learn information, but this organization allows me to be hands on by organizing concerts with professionals all over the country.” Warren said the work she does for SFM is similar to that of professionals and is preparing for the music industry. “I design posters for Students For Music, and I also help with artist contracts, including negotiations and communication between the artist or artist management and SFM,” Warren said. According to UWO student Peter Kortaba, who recently joined the group, he is most excited about creating contracts and negotiating terms for those contracts, as he is a Music Industry Recording Tech and Business major. “Students for Music is entirely student run, I will get great hands-on experience in this important aspect to the music industry,” Kortaba said. “Being a member of Students for Music has given me the opportunity to apply what I am learning in school to the real world.” Kennedy said she has been able to connect with not only different chamber groups, but also music companies who work directly with those groups. A chance meeting with an executive of a popular brass instruments company allowed Kennedy to make a connection with a company that she hopes will grant her an internship in the future. SFM is open to anyone on campus. For more information, SFM meets on Mondays in the Arts & Communication building at 12:40 p.m.