Stephenson’s equivalent to Berry Gordy talks to the Express
This week I had the pleasure of sitting down and catching up with one of our Society Presidents, Anna Drumm, to discuss her new Music society and what it’s all about and my sub-heading comparison to Mowtown Records founder Berry Gordy is certainly on course to become true if Anna has anything to do with it!
Q: Who are you and what have you been up to recently within Stephenson College?
I’m Anna, a 3rd Year Primary Education Student, and I have recently started the Stephenson Music Society.
Q: Why start a music society in your 3rd year?
Well I initially wanted to join one when I first came to Stephenson, however we didn’t have one that I was able to join so I actually went to John Snow’s [boos from the crowd – well just the interviewer]. And then in my second year I would have loved to have started one but I just wasn’t aware of the resources that were available to me to actually get a society up and running, for example the bursary. I also didn’t know how much interest there would be, or whether I was just on my own but then I got to 3rd year and realised that a lot of people would be interested in joining so I thought why not.
Q: How easy was it to get it started?
It was really easy, I just messaged Iona [Sports and Societies Officer] and we got the signatures together to get it ratified and put it on the website almost immediately. Then all I needed to do was to get some members. The most difficult thing is the resources we have and I have found so far that I have had to rely on using resources from John Snow, which we’re grateful for but want to avoid having to do regularly. That’s why I have just submitted a bursary application as a society to hopefully get some new equipment and we can start to transform our meeting room into the societies room that we need!
Q: What are you hoping to do if your bursary application is successful?
We are hopefully going to get an electric guitar, amps, drum kit, microphones and microphone stands and that’s just off the top of my head! So all of that equipment will allow all members of the society, and the JCR in general, to have access to good quality music space and promote music more within the college.
Q: Speaking of instruments, as President of the Music Society you must play something. How many instruments do you play?
Well I started on the Sax at 7 and have now got my Jazz diploma for that. Then I went on to the guitar and double bass and got my grades in them. Then I taught myself the piano and it’s probably my favourite instrument, although I do feel like I’m cheating on the Saxophone. I can do bits of other instruments but I’d say these are the main four really.
Q: Wow, quite the mix! You mentioned the saxophone there as your first instrument and on Friday night you played use some songs from two of my favourite artists, Klingande and Bakermat, on the saxophone. These artists do some house/dance music with little saxophone riffs throughout, so is that the main genre of the society or do they focus on other genres too?
Actually, I started out with the intention to make this into a jazz society as I just love Jazz and I thought it would be easy to organise with 5 or 6 other people who were interested as well. But then I started to think more and realised that other people may be interested in different genres, so I decided to make a more wide and inclusive society where we could gather information on the members to have a musician database and then put people who are like minded with music together to create little different ensembles.
Q: So what about people who don’t play instruments?
Well, I’ve actually just set up a piano taster session [details will be in Joe’s weekly what’s on kitchen bulletin] and should we be successful in our bursary application we will be looking to expand to offering different taster sessions for different instruments.
Q: Sounds great! So last Friday we saw Music Soc in action for the first time, when’s our next opportunity to see you perform? And what’s going on?
The Chirstmas Light Switch On on the 1st December. The Jazz Band will be performing alongside our Sing! Society. We will be playing 3 songs, 2 jazz songs and a Christmas song, but I’m afraid I can’t release any names just yet!
Q: Wonderful. So the final question I have to ask is what advice you would give to anyone who wants to start a new society?
Educate yourselves on the resources available to you and there are the different contacts within the JCR who can support you in setting up and running the society. Apply for a bursary if you need any equipment and don’t be scared to do this because College are so keen on students expanding what we have to offer here and developing new skills. Remember, people are willing to join societies, and they’re just waiting for someone to set it up so if you do want to set something up just go for it!
A huge thank you must go to Anna for taking some time out to come and chat to me about Music Society and I wish her all the best with the society as the year progresses. Don’t forget that to see the society’s next performance (a collaboration with Sing! Society) you need to head along to the JCR’s Christmas Light Switch On event on the 1st December starting at 8pm.