Instruments set, performers ready, and all eyes onstage. Except there is no stage, no formal attire, and, most importantly, no judgment.
This is the environment of Performance Club, started by Jason Liu, a senior.
“This club has been an idea of mine since I arrived at Carlmont,” said Liu. “I wanted an avenue for my friends and the whole music program to be able to perform in front of others.”
The club does just that. Students arrive once a month to watch or perform in front of their eager-eared peers. It is open to students of the music program or anybody who enjoys music.
Music teacher Brian Switzer is the teacher advisor for the club.
“Unfortunately, the students are spread across many different periods. This means there is not that much interplay, which is necessary to improve,” said Switzer. “I think the club is a fantastic idea for students at the school.”
This club solves the interplay problem by allowing students to listen to performers in other classes. For example, a student in Jazz Ensemble may listen and have different opinions on how a piece should be played than a student in Symphony Orchestra.
“I enjoy the club because it gives students a chance to develop their musical talent and their confidence in their instruments,” said Joe Bazarsky, a junior. “I feel that the feedback that one can get from their peers may be better than say an administrator because their peers may know how to phrase the feedback so one can understand it.”
This peer feedback is Liu’s mission.
“I want everyone to be able to come attend this club and gain support for their musicianship,” said Liu. “Realistically, we do not have the publicity for everyone to attend the club, but I hope that this can change.”
As one performer finishes their solo, the next stands and moves into the middle of the large semicircle of chairs. Three groups in total performed at the club on Monday, Sept. 25, including a violinist, a jazz combo, and a pianist.
“I will definitely attend performance club in the future,” said Bazarsky. “I think the club really helped me get over some of the nerves I was feeling about soloing in front of an audience, and I feel it can help me improve even more in the future.”
Performance club meets on the last Monday of every month, and all are welcome to attend, even nonmusicians.