by Henry Wesson
Many musicians have an unquenchable thirst to jam but can’t seem to find a reliable group of people to jam with. If you are one of the aspiring musicians that populate Whatcom Community College’s campus, the music club might be the place for you.
It’s the only club where you can rock out with other musicians all afternoon, and if you play an instrument, you will probably feel right at home. It’s a place to talk about, write, and play music, according to members, and they are always looking for new people to jam with.
Logan Browning, a guitar player and member of the local band Hustle City, founded the club last school year with his friend and fellow musician Joe Marzullo. Browning says the goal of the music club is “to rock out and spread music throughout the community here at WCC.”
“People can really benefit from the club because it gives you increased confidence as a musician,” Browning said. “It gives you many opportunities for new experiences, lets musicians learn and practice on new instruments and learn how to play many different kinds of music, and you make new friends and have fun at the same time.” Club members say the experience is 100 percent positive and they all have a great time participating.
It’s pretty much a four-and-a-half hour jam session with a set list of anything members want to play. Everyone throws their ideas in during the initial brainstorm when the club begins, and then everyone just plays and plays to their heart’s content. The musicians in the music club find that it’s a great way to jam to your favorite songs or work out the sound of your own personal compositions. Also, with everyone contributing to the set list, everyone gets to hone their playing abilities by learning to play other people’s favorites, as well as their own musical concoctions. This allows an opportunity for members to play unfamiliar styles and become a more versatile musician, so anyone dreaming of being a studio musician may find that this is a fantastic way to get that much needed practice.
The philosophy of the club-goers is just to play music. It doesn’t matter if someone suggests to groove on a cover of an old classic from Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung,” or on a cover of a newer hit like Radiohead’s “Fifteen Steps.” With an ensemble of ambitious and eager musicians for peers, one can play anything one’s heart desires. With so many possibilities, wouldn’t a beginner feel overwhelmed? The music club is both a place for both the skilled and not so skilled, and there is always room for everyone to learn and have fun. The club is open to any Whatcom student that wants to join.
Kris Staples-Weyrauch (pronounced “why rock?” he said jokingly) has been a member of the music club for two years, since it was founded.
“I joined the music club because I really enjoy jamming with other musicians and seeing what ideas and compositions we can come up with together,” said Staples-Weyrauch, a guitar player who has been playing since he was 12 years old. Staples-Weyrauch is a talented self-taught musician and student-taught the band program at Bellingham High School, which testifies that even really advanced musicians can still learn in the music club. He also loves playing with the friends he made in the music club.
The music club still has a rather small number of students currently participating, and welcomes potential members even if they are not enrolled in music classes at the college. The only requirements are a proficiency with an instrument (whether it be the electric guitar or the didgeridoo) or mastery of the vocal chords and knowledge of how to read some form of music (sheet music, tab, or, if you’re gifted with perfect pitch and can learn by ear or play the drums).
“We are always down to have new musicians join,” said Browning. “The more the merrier.”
The music club meets in the Heiner Center Auditorium on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30 to 5 pm.