by ROSE BRENNAN & ALEXA SCHMIDT, A&E Editor & Asst. A&E Editor
In the first major event of the year hosted by Student Government, Manhattan College’s annual music festival known as Quadchella was held on Friday, Sept. 14.
True to its name, Quadchella (previously known as “Quadstock”) is usually hosted outside on the campus quadrangle. However, at the last minute, the venue was changed and the event was entirely reorganized in Jasper Hall’s backyard. People were notified of the change around 2:30 p.m., and the event was scheduled for 4 p.m.
“I think [the venue change] was a miscommunication between some of the administration and I and Andy [Bauer]. I don’t think we were all on the same page, but we learned from this mistake, and we are going to make sure that every plan is down pat […] so this kind of mistake does not happen again,” said Jaycie Cooper, student body president.
This year, the Cooper administration faced a unique challenge in planning Quadchella. Due to budget cuts across the board, there was some uncertainty surrounding whether or not the festival would include a musical guest like in previous years. But Cooper found a way to make it work: a festival of entirely student performers.
“I didn’t want Springfest and Quadchella to suffer, and that’s what I was kind of told when the budgets had to be cut. Everything was being cut across the board so I was like, okay, how can we fix this?” Cooper said. “This was kind of my idea to […] plan to make Springfest better and still have a fall event for students that’s still enjoyable without breaking the bank.”
As the event began at 4 p.m., students started to trickle over from dorm buildings and classes, magnetized by the three food trucks in the Jasper parking lot. The mouth-watering options included mini donuts, grilled cheese and Korean barbecue.
As hordes of students began filling up on the delicious (and free!) food, the stage was set for the first act of the afternoon: Flycatcher, a rock band native to New Brunswick, N.J.
Flycatcher was unique among the performing groups because it was composed entirely of non-MC students. They had come to perform at Quadchella at the request of close friend Kevin Donald, a senior at the college.
“I’m really good friends with Kevin, and […] he told me they were putting together a Quadchella thing, he said they were thinking about getting rid of it altogether. He said, ‘why don’t we get some local bands to do it’ and so we […] kind of got dibs on throwing our names in the ring. So we were just like, ‘hey, we’ll do it if you guys want us to,’” said Flycatcher guitarist and vocalist Greg Pease.
It’s never easy to be the first group to perform, because it also comes with the added task of breaking the ice in a prospective audience. And so, while Flycatcher was performing, they had to slowly coax students away from the food trucks into Jasper backyard to watch them and the rest of the performers. However, some students that didn’t need any coaxing were residents of Jasper Hall, some of whom could watch the performances from the comfort of their dorm rooms.
“You almost have to make them uncomfortable. It’s uncomfortable for everybody but if you look now, everybody’s nice and comfortable and everybody’s hanging out,” Pease said.
Pease would make a second appearance later that afternoon as a guest performer with Donald’s band, Let Me Ask My Mother.
Following Flycatcher, the afternoon’s set of performers ran the musical gamut from full-on rock ensembles like Let Me Ask My Mother to traditional crooners to girls with ukuleles and everything in between.
One of the true showstoppers of the evening was senior Emelia “Emely” Martinez. She performed with a guitarist and pianist. As Martinez sang on stage, they accompanied her using just their improvisational skills.
“It was super scary to perform at Quadchella at first, but it was really nice to see everyone gather and support each other. You could tell whose friends are watching who, which is the the cutest thing ever because you can hear them and see them when they get closer. It’s just so much fun. Everyone’s having a good time, there’s good food, good music and they’re DJing in between which I think was a very smart idea. It’s straight good vibes, I love it,” she said.
Martinez originally started playing piano and guitar, but pushed away the idea of singing. When she finally started to her senior year of high school, she enjoyed it, but thought it wasn’t enough. She started songwriting, found it was her niche, and has since stuck to it.
Martinez bases her songs off of personal events. She also likes to play around and do remixes.
“When I do a remix, sometimes when I hear a song I just I think to myself, oh how would I have written that song if I had thar concept or that idea. So then I write my own verses to songs that are already there and I write songs about experiences thata I’ve had. It always starts with me playing random things on the guitar and I’m like, I kind of like this, and then it takes me somewhere, and I write, and that’s it,” she said.