Going to watch a live music performance is not feasible for many college students who do not have the time or the money for such luxuries.
But for music lovers at South Plains College, the event known as “Thursday Nite Live” gives students a chance to hear a variety of music genres being represented in a live performance by a selected ensemble of SPC students.
TNL is an event that provides SPC students an opportunity every semester to audition for a spot in the TNL ensemble. The selected TNL ensemble makes a few appearances throughout the semester, performing songs from different music genres, such as country, rock and roll, and R&B.
This semester’s ensemble consists of Brennan Brusewitz on bass, Kyle Murray on lead guitar, Juan David Rodriguez on acoustic guitar and vocals, Madison Stewart on keyboard and vocals, and Gillian Hess on vocals.
Their first concert held on Oct. 19 at the Tom T. Hall Production Studio in the Commercial Music Building on the Levelland campus covered a variety of songs from artists such as The Wallflowers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Miranda Lambert. There is still a chance to experience everything TNL has to offer on Dec.7, their last performance of the semester.
Whether it be the wide array of songs or the changing cast, TNL performances always differ from semester to semester.
Brian Tate, instructor in commercial music at SPC, said this will be a special semester for TNL, as it will be his first time as the TNL ensemble director.
“To some degree, every different instructor that has had this ensemble has done something a little bit different,” said Tate, who will be serving as the group’s drummer for the fall. “Somehow, this will be a Brian Tate version of ‘Thursday Nite Live.’”
Tate explained how he wants to keep the spirit of TNL alive. The history and the fame behind TNL is something that Tate considers when instructing this semester’s ensemble.
“My goal real was looking back through the history of the ensemble,” said Tate. “In the past, it has been one of the most well attended concerts during the semester.”
The history of TNL is one factor that Tate mentioned that determines the essence of the performances, which are free and open to the public.
Tate recalled the first TNL ensemble instructor Cary Banks, who was the former chairperson of the Creative Arts Department at SPC and the founder of TNL. Banks, who guided the TNL ensemble for 15 years, instituted the concept of a rock and roll, country, and R&B variety show as the focus of TNL.
Because of this tradition, Tate said he tries to preserve these customs within his ensemble.
“I’m trying to maintain that tradition where we play rock, we play some country, we play some R&B,” said Tate.
Regardless of the traditions, the song selection is a vital component that Tate said determines the attentiveness of the audience.
Too many soothing songs or too many ecstatic songs are things that Tate listed that could lose the audience’s interest and dampen their energy. Tate said the performance needs to hit different phases of energy within the music.
“We had a very organic process at the beginning where we were listening to songs and making selections,” said Tate. “One thing I helped try to guide is making sure we hit these key emotional points within the set.”
The music performed at TNL events allows for people with different music tastes to come together and enjoy the same concert.
The diverse set of songs and easy accessibility are a few things that make “Thursday Nite Live” stand out from other concerts. This event has provided the SPC community an opportunity to relax and enjoy a quality music experience.