UMEM Stair Sessions Build Community Through Entertainment

Eli Nordstrom performing at the Stair Sessions

UMEM’s goal is to build community through entertainment.  This goal can take many forms, but the most recent is a new weekly tradition – Stair Sessions. The idea was born from NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts where host, Bob Biolen, records short, intimate live musical performances around his desk at NPR Music.  We loved these mini performances so much, and as imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we decided to create our own.

The 402 class, Principles of Entertainment Management I, teaches students to find, manage and promote a local artist from start to finish.  This includes all aspects of artist management, such as booking performances, recording sessions, creating press kits for media coverage, building social media campaigns and coordinating with the artist to develop their brand.  This semester, students have chosen local musicians from a variety of genres, including:  Eli Nordstrom, lead singer of The Newlyweds; Conor Dannis, a horsehead mask-wearing busker; and Alyssa Hands, a ukulele player with tremendous vocals.  Rather than using a tiny desk to showcase these artists, we chose the staircase of the Gallagher Business Building.

Every Thursday, a musician takes the “stage” on the stairs for a ten-minute performance. Every Thursday, professors, students, staff and community members gather to enjoy the music on the stairs.  Every Thursday, students are learning, musicians are doing what they love and attendees are asking for more.

Building community through entertainment? Check.

2015  Complete Stair Session Schedule
October 15, 2015 Darah Fogarty (Vocals + Guitar)
October 22, 2015 Eli Nordstrom (Vocals + Guitar)
October 29, 2015 Conor Dannis (Vocals + Guitar)
November 5, 2015 Steve Robertson (Bagpipes)
November 12, 2015 Alyssa Hands (Vocals + Guitar)
November 19, 2015 Dan Dubuque (Dobro)
December 3, 2015 Halleh Day (Vocals + Guitar)
December 10, 2015 Jennifer Keller (Piano)