Quadchella: MC Hosts Isaac Slade of The Fray

by, Madalyn Johnson & Adrianne Hutto, Web Editor & Staff Writer

On Friday, Nov. 13, the college hosted their annual Quadchella, which provided an opportunity for the MC community to unwind from the hectic semester while getting to listen to an artist chosen by the student body. Although Quadchella did not take place on the quad this year, the event still lived up to its promises of delivering quality, live entertainment to Manhattan College. 

The artist chosen to perform at Quadchella 2020 was the promised act for SpringFest 2020, the lead singer of The Fray, Isaac Slade. Student Engagement planned to set up the event as a webinar so students could interact and take away more from the event besides just live music. 

“He’s going to be performing some of his songs and we’re going to be doing a panel of all different questions about his career and his background and some like fun facts about him in between each song that he sings,” Gianna Gaudio, a graduate assistant for student engagement, said.  

Besides working to ensure a fun experience for students, Student Engagement purposely timed the event late into the fall semester. The office wanted participants, regardless of if they were on campus or back home, to come to the event and enjoy live music right before a Thanksgiving break that would drive students out of campus until 2021.

“I think that overall, you know, the climate right now did play a role,”  Shannon Ortega, the Student Engagement coordinator, said. “We try to stagger out events so that as students were trying to figure out what their schedule was, whether they were on hybrid mode or fully remote, just allowing students to kind of gain understanding for their schedules and so that was a driving factor in terms of staggering events this year.”

The Manhattan College class of 2020 was in the back of the minds of administrators when organizing the event. Due to their senior year being cut short last spring, the class was deprived of experiencing many important events like SpringFest, and so the school wanted to invite them back to give them another chance to experience some fun. 

“We wanted to make sure that they were able to be invited back for something fun on campus because they did miss out on that opportunity, so that’s why we thought it was extra important to extend that invite to them so that they felt that they were welcome back,” Gaudio said. “We told them that they would be welcomed back for an event this year because they had missed out, so we want to make sure that that was a priority.” 

Student Engagement reflected on how there are many benefits to hosting an event with a popular artist online.

“We saw this play out with what was said from last week with Cody Ko,” Ortega said. “A lot of students that log in are home and remote, so with a normal Quadchella, you’re usually on campus so that’s really kind of your experience with your friends. But now you can incorporate your friends at home or your sister or, you know, your siblings because you’re home.” 

Several students coordinated the webinar as Slade performed many early 2000 favorites. Among the group of coordinators was Student Body President Shannon Gleba, who perceived this year’s Quadchella as a success, thanks in large part to the proactive efforts of Student Engagement during an unprecedented semester.  “Student Engagement took the reins on communicating with Isaac’s manager and planning the event,” Gleba said. “Isaac said it was his first time doing a virtual concert like this, and I feel like it went super well and like he, as well as MC, had fun.”

Besides being a part of the webinar, Gleba is a senior who watched what would be her last Quadchella at Manhattan College. She reflected on how pleased she was to see Slade play in her final Quadchella experience. 

“I really enjoyed my time at Quadchella this year,” Gleba said. “It is crazy to think this will be my final one at MC, but I am thankful we had such an amazing artist like Isaac Slade to close it out.”

Issac Slade performing Look After You during virtual Quadchella.

Freshman Katie Gilmartin got to experience Quadchella for the first time this year. It was Isaac Slade himself who influenced Gilmartin to check out the virtual event. Although Gilmartin was well aware that Manhattan annually hosts Quadchella, she came into the experience not knowing what it was going to be like.

“I honestly didn’t know what to expect, I figured it would be a bit like an online lecture,” Gilmartin said. “It turned out quite nicely, though, with both music and a Q&A with the Fray. It was moderated by a couple students, who served as great hosts.”

Gilmartin supports how student engagement viewed virtual Quadchella as an interactive way to include a variety of people into the live show, not just MC students on campus. 

“I’m a commuter student, so sometimes there are events that I miss out on due to a hefty commute home or an event being too late in the evening,” Gilmartin said. “The virtual setting worked well, it allowed me to participate from the comfort of home. Also, I was able to share the event with my family; I’ve got two younger sisters in high school, and it was such a treat to share Quadchella with them.”

But like most, Gilmartin mentioned she would have preferred an in-person event, if it were possible this year. 

“There’s something special about sharing an experience with other listeners around you, all tuned in to the performer, collectively appreciating the music and having a good time,” Gilmartin said.

From a senior’s standpoint, the annual concert being held online was as enjoyable as it could have been given the circumstances. Senior Kerry Brosnan shared how this year’s atmosphere changed her perception on her last Quadchella in comparison to the others she’s attended. 

“Definitely not as engaging as previous Quadchellas where we’re all on the quad together, and eating from food trucks and just generally having fun on a Friday,” Brosnan said. “Quadchella usually signifies the end of the summer season, so having it now was different from years past. In-person events are generally better because there’s a more exciting atmosphere and physically seeing a performer is more captivating.”

Brosnan was still grateful Student Engagement and Student Government have been continuing the hard work to organize these types of virtual events that feature amazing talent.

“Given the current circumstance, it’s great that we’re able to have events even if it is through a virtual format.”

Editor’s Note: Shannon Gleba is Quadrangle writer