Union Gives Students Real World Experience

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Almost a year ago, Snow College’s Commercial Music Ensemble rebranded itself into Union; five bands of different genres that perform commercially on campus and in the local community. These bands have created a new brand and opportunity for students at Snow College.

The bands are Union Universal, Highway, Rock, Street, and City & the E-Town Horn. Each band has a distinct sound and they book gigs accordingly. 

John Fisher sings lead vocals at Union Highway rehearsal. Photo by Tessa Thornley

Ben Harris, the director of Union Highway, explained that the purpose of creating Union was to allow the band members to learn more from gigs. “The main goal is to be a microcosm of the music industry and have it all run by the students. Promotion, production, all of it gives different opportunities and real-world experience they can use for their future careers.”

Lizzy O’Very, musical director of Union Highway, described the importance of Union saying, “It’s a step into the real world of music. We get to experience what it would be like to work with the pros.” The band must be able to blend with each other and come together with each song. They learn how to feed off of the audience and gage their enjoyment off of reactions.

Millie Knaphus, Lizzie O’Very, and Cathiness Cammatra sing backup in their cover of “I’m a Believer.” Photo by Tessa Thornley

“Union is going to be the key to solid music students at Snow,” says Union Highway guitarist, Brenden Blackham, “This is for the creative ones that will create music for our current and future industry. Union has given us relevant experience.”

While it is a requirement for music majors to be a part of major ensemble, which includes Union, Union is open for all students to tryout. It is an opportunity for anyone who wants to make music, do the tech for a show, and learn to promote a band.

Tessa Thornley is a Communications major, in her second year at Snow College. She chose the path of journalism because of her love of storytelling. She inherited that love from her English teacher mother, and after growing up in the passenger seat of her dad's pickup truck, hearing his tales. She aspires to continue documenting people's stories through words and photos as a photojournalist.

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