Having the opportunity to attend a live music performance is not easy for many college students who do not have the time or money to go out for such events.
But for music lovers at South Plains College, there are events held every semester called “Thursday Nite Live (TNL)” which give students a chance to hear a variety of music genres in a live performance by a selected ensemble of SPC students.
TNL is an event that provides SPC students with an opportunity to audition every semester for a spot in the ensemble. Throughout the semester, the ensemble will make appearances performing songs from different music genres, such as country, rock and roll and R&B. If students are interested in auditioning for certain ensembles, auditions are held at the beginning of every semester in the Creative Arts Building.
“Thursday Nite Live has traditionally been a variety ensemble, meaning we don’t just play one style or genre,” says Brian Tate, instructor in Commercial Music at SPC and director of the ensemble. “The old intro song that used to open every show included the lyrics, ‘It’s rock n’ roll, it’s country, it’s R&B…it’s Thursday Nite Live at SPC!’ I have tried to maintain those styles in each show. There are other ensembles that focus on a particular genre, like jazz, rock, country, and R&B. We even have a funk ensemble, which is one of my personal favorites.”
TNL gives students the opportunity to showcase their musical talent at the college. This semester the ensemble features: Brandon Baldwin, who plays electric guitar; Matt Cross, who plays bass guitar; Cristian Casas, who is a vocalist; Emily George, who is a vocalist; Kailey Amos, who is a vocalist; Kameryn Stanaland, who is a vocalist, plays guitar and keyboards; and Brian Tate, who plays drums.
This group of students also performs at least two televised shows each semester, and will sometimes perform at other community events and venues. The live campus performances are in the Tom T. Hall Recording and Production Studio and streamed live on Livestream.com.
The ensemble also performs at events such as the Boss’s Day Luncheon, which takes place each October. Typically, during the fall semester, the ensemble will perform for the president, the deans, administrators, and other staff who help run the campus.
The music performed at TNL events allows for individuals with different music tastes to come together and enjoy the same concert. The various songs and easy accessibility to each performance are among the things that make “Thursday Nite Live” stand out from other concerts. This event has provided the SPC community with an opportunity to relax and enjoy a quality music experience.
“Primarily, the students in the ensemble are responsible for bringing two or three song suggestions to play for the performance,” Tate said. “We all sit around and write down the best choices, and usually it is pretty evident which songs we want to perform.”
The ensemble also participates in Fest Week, featuring a different style of music each night. Monday night is Country Fest; Tuesday night is Rock Fest; Wednesday night is Groove Fest, which entails more jazz ensembles, R&B, and funk ensemble, and Thursday is the Thursday Night Showcase,
The next TNL performance will be part of the Thursday Night Showcase, which will be Dec. 6 in the Creative Arts Building. The TNL Showcase is the final night of the end-of-semester performances of the student ensembles. The concert will begin at 6 p.m. and will feature three different ensembles: The Touring Ensemble, Alterna TV and Thursday Nite Live.
Tate also explains that the TNL events are open to anyone. The performances are all-age inclusive, with students and the community are welcome to attend. No admission is charged.