Even with the amount of fantastic live music Columbia offers, there aren’t a ton of opportunities for relaxed, sit-down performances on campus.
Luckily enough, however, the Life Music Series, sponsored by the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center and Missouri Student Unions, will be returning to The Shack, inside, on the main floor of the MU Student Center on Friday. The concert will feature both student and graduate performances by amateur and professional musical artists.
“Life Music Series fills a space on campus,” says Marcus Mayes, a graduate assistant at the Black Culture Center. “You have your big campus shows at Jesse (Auditorium) and a lot of other great events, but there’s not a lot of intimate setting shows on campus where you can just relax and listen to some live music.”
Mayes came up with the idea for the show himself, and he leads the coordination of the event, along with working toward developing and implementing other events through the center. He’s responsible for other on-campus events, such as Fall Fest, Black AIDS Day and more.
The concert, which began about 2 1/2 years ago, will feature performances of predominantly R&B and neo-soul music and, as Mayes puts it, “great laidback music where you don’t have to jump around and go crazy.”
And, the Life Music Series concert gives students the opportunity to perform their own material in a comfortable, easy-going environment.
“What I have enjoyed most about the Life Music Series since its creation has been the level of intimacy it generates,” senior performer John Mitchell says. “It creates a comforting ambiance that allows people to showcase their artistry raw and brings those who are interested in listening to it.”
MU graduate and featured performer Alicia Revé also appreciated what the series had to offer her when she attended the university.
“It's great to be invited to be a part of something so great and where I feel like I got my first big push and felt like an artist,” Revé says.
Revé received a Bachelor of Arts in music with a focus in vocal performance, and has an EP due out later this year. Revé’s first formal performance was at The Shack her senior year.
The Life Music Series concert gives students with the desire to become more than amateur performers the opportunity to grow as artists and receive positive feedback from peers and strangers.
“As far as the opportunity goes, I love performing in front of my peers,” senior performer Savannah Givens says. “It is especially important for me to do these type of events in order to allow for my own personal growth and progression as a writer, performer and artist over all.”