A freshman wants to change the musical landscape of Baruch College with a new club for student musicians.
Being a musician herself, Feba George pitched Lexington Music as a club for students who currently play or want to play an instrument and want to practice their music improvisation skills, learn more about other instruments or just jam out with fellow musicians.
Through email communication with The Ticker, Feba detailed how she felt “mortified when thinking about surviving the next four years without a place to just jam with friends and grow as a musician.” Music is an important aspect of Feba’s life, being able to play six instruments and having played in various concert bands.
Baruch’s limited extracurricular music programs and offerings compared to other areas of study drove her to create Lexington Music. Baruch currently has two music clubs: the Music Industry Club at Baruch College and the Baruch Blue Notes.
Baruch also has piano rooms on the seventh floor of the Newman Vertical Campus that Feba says are “within a maze of other rooms.”
Lexington Music differs from the two existing music clubs in that it caters specifically to musicians who play instruments. The Music Industry Club focuses on students interested in a career within the music industry, while the Baruch Blue Notes is an a cappella singing group that performs throughout the school year. Neither club caters to musicians like Feba, who was shocked to discover the lack of programs for musicians who play instruments, she said. Lexington Music would be the first club to focus entirely on instrumental music.
Feba plans for a normal meeting during club hours to be dedicated to jam sessions to practice improvisation skills. Feba also hopes to engage the club within school-wide performances and concerts of varying genres and groups, such as singer-songwriters and ensembles.
Feba also wants Lexington Music to offer occasional workshops to teach students how to play certain instruments and hold lectures on topics such as “Music in Different Cultures,” “Evolution of Music” and “Basic Musicianship.” Of course, all of these proposed events and activities can only exist once Feba maneuvers the complex steps of starting a club at Baruch.
Having already submitted an interest form, Feba met with Emma Klainberg, an Office of Student Life adviser and a fellow musician who happily supports Lexington Music, according to Feba.
Lexington Music needs a club constitution, proposed events, a general interest meeting and a club cosponsor to present to the Undergraduate Student Government, which will vote on whether to charter the club. Lexington Music has also received positive support from Baruch’s fine and performing arts department.
Adjunct professor Peter Kramer provided Feba with invaluable advice for the club. Referred to by Feba as a “crucial anchor in this process,” Kramer suggested pieces of music to her for the club to play, pitched ideas for performances and provided basic support and encouragement to Feba and the club’s message.
Lexington Music so far has 13 members, not including Feba, all of whom play instruments spanning from the cello to the flute and even to the erhu.
Even as a freshman, Feba shows devotion for her club; she proudly states that she has “literally walked around club hours with flyers and asked people if they play an instrument.” Baruch is “definitely geared toward the business world and cutthroat competition,” according to Feba.
This financial focus makes Lexington Music more important, she said, in that it provides “a place where students can relax and enjoy doing something that they love.” Feba believes Baruch should cultivate the arts by providing more funding, time and attention.
Baruch offers two music-based majors, but Feba hopes that Lexington Music can take learning outside of the classroom and help students grow in a well-rounded college environment.
She knows that it is a large task to try to alter Baruch’s business focus, but Feba thinks back to a piece of inspiration from one of her professors. The professor spoke about how faculty are afraid of students joining forces, because when students get together they can truly accomplish anything. For Feba, the thought continues, “Why not start with the arts?”
There is no specified date yet for Lexington Music’s general interest meeting, but students interested are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org, join the Facebook group “Lexington Music,” or text “MUSIC” directly to (718) 974-1588.
Editor’s Note: Feba George is a photographer for The Ticker.
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