music

Student musician celebrates release of first album

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A Texas State student released his first extended play (EP) album this semester under the project name Native Prix.

AJ Gatley, Texas State marketing sophomore, 19, has been playing instruments and singing ever since he can remember. He recently began taking his music more seriously.

“When I was 14, I made my first demo, but this is like the first legit album I’ve made so far,” Gatley said.  

Gatley said the release date for his album, entitled Recreated Dreams, holds a special meaning.

“I decided to release my album on Jan. 31 in memory of my dad,” Gatley said. “He passed away on that day about 10 years ago, so it felt like a good day.”

Gatley wrote each song on the album in addition to playing drums, guitar, keyboard and bass.

Musicians compete in Battle of the Bands

San Marcos is full of artistic talent, and its local bands are no exception.

The Student Association for Campus Activities (SACA) hosted a Battle of the Bands March 5. The annual event began in 2010. The contest is held to select the band that will open for River Fest, San Marcos’ music event, said Celina Concha, communication studies junior and Pride & Traditions Coordinator of SACA.

Concha said the event is continuously successful and had a high attendance rate this year.

“This year, we hit the maximum of 150 people allowed in George’s at one time by 7:15p.m. and a total of approximately 400 attendees coming and going,” Concha said.

These numbers are a reflection of how much preparation, time and effort SACA puts into this event, she said.

Hip Hop Congress promotes networking, talent development

Members of a Texas State student organization use rap music as a tool to encourage social activism and networking.

Hip Hop Congress is a nationwide society focused on the advancement of hip-hop artists’ careers, said Ray Cordero, founder and adviser for the organization.  

Cordero said Sherri Benn, assistant vice president for student affairs, approached him in 2004 with the idea for the organization.

Local band works hard for fame

The San Marcos-based punk rock band Abandoned Under Fire is on a mission to reach superstardom no matter how long it takes.

Robert Lee, lead guitarist and vocalist, and Brandon DeLeon, drummer, founded the band in 2009 during their freshman year of high school, Lee said. Abandoned Under Fire was originally formed as a death metal thrash band.

The group has a collection of performances under its belt, Lee said. Abandoned Under Fire won its first Battle of the Bands competition in 2009.

Popular metal bands like System of a Down, Metallica and Megadeth were all early influences, DeLeon said.

Jonathan Arredondo, backup guitarist and vocalist, said the band gained a diverse sound over time. They began with heavy metal and developed into a punk rock sound.

Track and field athlete exercises musical talents

Jonathan Hill is living proof that true talent is multi-dimensional.

The business freshman is a member of the Texas State track and field team, where he competes in the 60-, 100- and 200-meter sprints. Hill is also a skilled musician and vocalist. He said music is a craft he has been perfecting since he was around 5 years old.

Hill’s love for music began to take form after his parents introduced him to a piano instructor. Hill was frustrated while learning to play, but stuck with the instrument.

Hill played percussion in his middle school’s band. He couldn’t read sheet music, which meant he had to sing notes aloud in order to play them on the drums.

Faculty jazz performance honors Eddie Durham

 

Texas State’s School of Music celebrated the work of San Marcos native, jazz composer, arranger and instrumentalist Eddie Durham Feb. 6 in Evans Auditorium.

The event featured famous performers such as Doug Lawrence, Count Basie Orchestra saxophonist, and Dan Morgenstern, the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and Grammy award-winning writer. Texas State faculty and alumni were featured in the performance.

Echoes Acapella gains official status with university

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Echoes Acapella is a Texas State organization known for singing without accompaniment and entertainment qualities.

The Echoes began on campus in 2013 and became an official Texas State organization in 2014.

Shannon Ingrassia-Murphy, theatre sophomore, is the founder of the group.

“I founded it last year, my freshman year of college, and this is our first official year,” Ingrassia-Murphy said. “We don’t compete yet, but we are going to start competing next fall.”

Ingrassia-Murphy said the entire organization is student-led. Everything the Echoes have accomplished so far has been through the process of trial and error, she said.

Local songwriters circle provides creative outlet

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A local songwriters circle gives San Marcos artists the chance to play, listen and learn in an intimate setting.

Kent Finlay’s Songwriters Circle at Cheatham Street Warehouse offers a night when all participating members are encouraged to closely listen to other artists to gain as much knowledge as possible. The circle is a tradition started by Finlay, founder of Cheatham Street, and has taken place every Wednesday since 1975.

It is the one event that could be known as “the nucleus” of Cheatham Street and has kept Finlay from closing the warehouse.

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