A season of serenading their student peers and the public alike is rapidly coming to a close for the bands of the Commercial Music Program at Lamar State-College Port Arthur.
The Spring 2014 Finale Show is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24 at the LSC-PA Music Hall, and the bands will be joined by a group of the Commercial Music faculty in performing at 8 p.m. May 3 at Beaumont’s Logon Café, 3805 Calder Ave.
Both performances are free to the public.
The students have performed this spring at the Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas in Port Arthur, the Redbud Festival in Buna, the Girls Haven Gumbo Cookoff and the South Texas State Fair, both in Beaumont.
“They get to play on a full stage and a good sound system here (at the LSC-PA Music Hall), but it’s nice for them to be able to go out into the public and play at local venues,” Carl Richardson, Commercial Music instructor, said. “I think they’re better off going to a real venue and coping with the real deal.”
The department’s two bands, Section 51 and The House Band, will perform “a diverse mix of music,” said Daniel Walzer, Chairman of the Commercial Music Department. “Some of it they’ve performed already, but basically it’s new material.”
Section 51, also known as The Touring Band, includes the department’s more experienced performers and most frequently represents LSC-PA in off-campus events. Richardson plays bass and directs the quintet of Antonio Briones (keyboards and vocals), Kaylee Dickens (vocals), Tyler Jones (percussion), Airon Reynolds (percussion) and Aaron Williams (guitar and vocals).
Robbie Gillam, Assistant Professor of Commercial Music, plays keyboards and directs The House Band. Members are Cody Biscamp (guitar and vocals), Brandon Boze (bass and vocals), David Fraser (drums), Nathan Ingalls (guitar) and Chelsea Phillips (vocals).
“First-time students tend to come through this band first,” Gillam said. “The idea is students get the experience of working together as an ensemble.”
In addition to the performers, Commercial Music students working in LSC-PA’s Sound Engineering classes set up the stage and run sound for the bands’ shows.
“This program is the only one of its type between Louisiana and Houston,” Walzer said.
For “Lamar-Port Arthur Night” at the Logon Café, the two student bands will be joined by a Faculty Ensemble of Walzer (drums), Gillam (piano and vocals) and Richardson (bass and vocals).
“We did this for the first time in December and it was a blast,” Walzer said of the Logon Café performance. “The kids had a lot of fun, so we’re going to do it again.”
Open registration for Summer and Fall 2014 begins Monday. Anyone interested in joining the Commercial Music program can contact the admissions office at 409-984-6166. To get information about student financial aid, call 409-984-6200.