Association for Musical Performance strives to bring student music to campus

By Kristin LaFratta

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Association for Musical Performance is comprised of a diverse range of musicians, which includes flute players, rockers and beat boxers. Relatively new to the University of Massachusetts, AMP is a network for musicians across campus to get together to share, expand and showcase their musical talents.

The idea for AMP originally came from student Omar Wahid two years ago, who now plays a minimal role in the club. President Mitch Bordage now leads the group in what he calls its first year truly up and running.

“The problem is there’s a lot of musicians but there’s not really a platform to show your stuff,” Bordage said. “We try to give the opportunity musicians might not otherwise necessarily have.”

The leaders of AMP describe their weekly meetings as an informal place for members to show and help each other with their music. One goal of the group is for members to meet other musicians and potentially create projects or bands.

“I was looking to add a music minor my freshman year,” AMP Secretary Lance Brozdowski said. “I looked into it and it wasn’t really what I was looking for. You had to perform and actually present very formal stuff to a board. I just want to meet people and jam.”

Amateurs are also welcome to the group. This year, there will be workshops offered at weekly meetings, which are held Wednesdays at 7 p.m. at room 119 in Herter Hall. These lessons will teach beginners in different areas of focus such as singing, guitar and music theory.

“We hope to be the ultimate utility for all musicians both prospective and current,” Bordage said.

Besides musicians, AMP welcomes those interested in working as event planners, sound technicians, video recorders and photographers to join their association. These members could potentially help set up and capture AMP-sponsored concerts.

Concerts are the one aspect of the association that are not so lax, said AMP treasurer Jim Lyons. Because of limited stage time, the group’s leaders must hold auditions for concerts. Musicians interested in performing in the group’s first concert on Friday, Oct. 18 are expected to come to auditions with a set list on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at the usual meeting place. No one in the association is required to perform in concerts, though it is offered to everyone.

The group is driven by a vision of increasing its membership and popularity with the hope of creating bigger concerts that will generate revenue for both UMass and AMP. It is their dream to “become big enough to hold events where we can have a night of AMP performances where people will pay and keep going to our events,” Bordage said.

The attendance at weekly meetings has already dramatically increased since last year. Last year, there were about 10 members who came to the meetings, but now there is between 40-50 attendees. Through flyers, tabling at the campus center and word of mouth, AMP has successfully spurred awareness of its purpose throughout the UMass campus.

The group does more than create a fostering environment for musicians. It also gives members the opportunity to show their talents in various venues. Bordage receives word from open mic nights and other events on campus seeking musical performances. He then forwards this information to AMP members for them to decide whether or not they are interested.

Though the leaders themselves are advanced musicians and have varied interests in the realm of musical performance, they urge all UMass students with an interest in music to become a part of AMP.

In the words of the association’s vice president Sarah Addi, “You don’t have to be Mozart to come play with us.”

Kristin LaFratta can be reached at [email protected]