March 11, 2008
University Concert Series, a student-led organization, provides a channel for students to share their artistic talents and to enjoy musical showcases. For UCS members, the organization also provides them with the opportunity to work behind-the-scenes with lighting and sound - essentially, making them roadies for a semester.
"It's an organization that brings together people's love for music and the arts, and it allows an outlet for that," said Carol Bean, UCS co-chair.
UCS organizes concerts and other music-oriented events for the OBU student body, including Open Mic Night, Senior Encore and Black Box.
Black Box, a jazz musical event, is offered once Friday each month. UCS serves dessert and coffee to students in the Sarkeys Black Box Theatre, while they listen to a jazz band play in an intimate and laid-back venue.
This year, each Black Box has a theme, such as "Starry Night". The theatre is decorated according to the theme.
Along with Black Box, UCS hosts monthly coffee shop-style concerts. In early March a UCS coffee-shop featured singer Derek Webb. Before the concert, Webb hosted a forum on the realm of music and art and how it affects culture.
"Through music, you are able to bring in discussion about ideas and thoughts. It provides entertainment and topics of conversation for people," Bean said.
Students in UCS put the concerts together and serve as hosts for the visiting bands. They are involved in the process from start to finish - from choosing the bands to setting up and tearing down the stage.
"In UCS we do a lot of moving sound and stage equipment, decorating and creating an atmosphere. We are like roadies," Bean said.