by Jileen Barrett & Mariana Duque, Assistant A&E Editor & Staff Writer
Sanctus Artem and the hosts of Coffee House collaborated to hold a Beatles themed jam session on Tuesday, Feb. 12 in Hayden 109. Erin McWilliams and Chantal Flores (as well as absent host Joe Corrao) chose several of the Fab Four’s most well known songs for the event.
McWilliams, a senior chemical engineering major, got involved in music as a child when she began singing in her hometown church’s choir and taking piano lessons. She was invited to be a Coffee House host this past year along with Flores and Corrao, and the three of them came up with the idea of holding jam sessions.
“This is our first themed jam, and we chose The Beatles theme to give the session some direction, and have songs that everyone is familiar with and can connect to as a basis,” McWilliams said.
The set list for the event included songs such as “Hey Jude,” “She Loves You,” and “Help”. The small group of about seven students traded instruments around throughout the hour, which included ukuleles, guitars, maracas, and a piano. Everyone joined in on singing along to the catchy tunes while reading off of the dozens of pages of sheet music, which littered the table that the participants gathered around.
The atmosphere was very inviting to musicians of any level. Everyone was extremely laid back about playing the music, since the purpose of it was simply to have fun. Regardless of whether a verse was skipped or there happened to be a disconnect in the tempo of the song, McWilliams encouraged students to play the music for the sheer pleasure of it. There were laughs and consecutive conversations at the table after playing. It was clear that the hosts’ intentions was to make this as relaxed of an environment as possible.
“Jam sessions can be seen as practice for Coffee House! But it’s more of an informal meeting of musicians to play songs that everyone is familiar with,” McWilliams said.
Lauren Spagnuolo, a junior childhood and special education major as well as a Coffee House regular, found the event to be just as enjoyable as the performances. She was intrigued by the idea of playing music, especially with her classmates, when she heard about the jam session.
“I saw a couple of posters around campus right outside Locke’s and I usually attend Coffee Houses but I’ve never been to a jam session before, so I brought my ukulele and went to go check it out,” she said.
The group discussed ideas for future themes, and came up with a few that may appeal to the whole student body. Some suggested they play throwback songs by the rock band Queen, while others favored the idea of trying out childhood classics like High School Musical or Hannah Montana.
No matter the theme, jam sessions have certainly proven to be the perfect way for musicians and singers to learn new songs and unwind with friends between classes.