Whether you have seen them playing at a booth in the Memorial Union, at a fraternity event or maybe at its showcase during the fall semester, the NDSU Songwriters Guild has been popping up all over campus this year.
But this group is not just for people who study music. Members study a variety of subjects, from English to engineering to animal science.
“The interest kind of wanes, because people feel like they need to have a certain amount of musical ability to be a part of our group, and that isn’t the case,” Zachary Rameden, a senior studying agricultural education and vice president of the Songwriters Guild, said. “We want to inspire that musical ability.”
Which is exactly what the group does in its meetings every other week with about 10-15 members. At every meeting, the group does a creative activity.
At the Feb. 5 meeting, the group played with Legos to get the creativity flowing. Each member got four random Lego pieces and had five minutes to create something. Afterward, they had another five minutes to create a story to go along with their pieces.
The members came up with up with a variety of different stories for their Lego creations, from one that was a dinosaur to another in the “Elbow Wars,” which they animatedly shared with the group.
The group was originally formed in the fall of 2011, with its current president as one of the founders.
Andrew Donner, a junior in mechanical engineering, became involved in the Songwriters Guild his freshman year. Ever since the group has been recognized as a full-time organization by student government, it has been working on becoming more recognized by other students on campus. The group currently has 65 likes on its Facebook group.
“It’s more along the lines of being recognized when people hear our names,” Donner said. “They know who the Songwriters Guild is.”
Donner focuses his abilities on guitar and vocals and said his main inspiration to get involved with music was his grandfather, who played music by ear and built himself a music shack.
Donner said his grandfather always loved performing and making people smile with music.
“That’s always been … the kind of mindset I have. Music is a thing that’s meant to be shared. Music is wonderful and can heal the deepest hurts; it can do things that medicine can’t do.”
Not only does the group give people a chance to channel their creativity, but also has many performance opportunities.
Donner said it’s their goal to give members the opportunity to get their music out, and also for their music to be heard. It has a Songwriter Guild Showcase each semester and has performed at fraternity events and participated in a performance for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Service Plunge at the Red Cross. Donner said the performance opportunities continue to increase.
Michael Casey, a sophomore studying English, discovered the Songwriters Guild last year when he performed at the Theta Chi “Days of Giving” event, which Donner was present at.
“I originally just needed some space to fill my schedule in high school, but now it slowly grew from there,” Casey said. “It’s a way I like to…express everything I’ve been feeling about life.”
Casey focuses most on rap and hip hop, and is also involved in the Hip Hop Team.
Donner said the Songwriters Guild practices any type of music people are interested in, such as hip hop, country, indie-rock or just acoustic sets.
“We’re just a bunch of regular college students that have an interest in songwriting and playing music.”
CAFE ECLECTICA | 9:30 a.m. Feb. 22
SPRING SHOWCASE | 7:30 p.m. Apr. 24 Beckwith Recital Hall
LIVE @ LUNCH | 11:30 a.m. May 7 Memorial Union