Carolinian – Campus News
Issue: 2/4/02

Music Monopoly?
By Kevin Harvey

Some of UNCG’s most creative students say they’re having trouble finding places to perform on campus because administration officials won’t book them.

Several student musicians and artists have complained recently about the availability of University facilities for student-run productions.

“I’ve been trying to put things on at the school ever since I’ve gone here,” said Nate Weida, a music composition major. “If you are a student and want to perform a work of your own, you are the last person to get [facilities].”

Weida composed The New Hopeville Comics, a musical that debuted last November at Guilford College’s Dana Auditorium. Weida also composed Exposure and Commander Squish, both original productions that debuted at the UNCG School of Music recital hall.

“If I wanted to use the UNCG recital hall, I had to lie,” said Weida. “I told them I was a graduate student and [Commander Squish] was for a grade. I didn’t get any help from faculty or administration. You have to lie and cheat and steal to get what you want.”

“It seems they are more open to other organizations,” says Dave Parnell, a senior in the School of Music. “Basically, if you’re not classical, you’re at the bottom of the barrel in trying to get performance areas.”

“I tried to get [The New Hopeville Comics] into Taylor Theater,” said Weida. “I waited for a year to just get to the head of the line. They said go to Aycock. I talked to them and waited for 8 months. They still turned me down after telling me that I could have it, but they wouldn’t give me a date. If they could give me a date, it would be something like $800 an hour.”

According to Taylor theater manager Jody Cauthen it is “not possible” for students to book the venue for independent productions.

“We plan really far in advance,” she said. “Even if we don’t have a play or performance in the theater, there’s probably a rehearsal.”

“One of the problems with getting into Taylor is that if their space is not being used for a performance, it’s being used to build scenery for their performances,” said Kathleen McGirty, Assistant Director for Facilities and Services.

“[Reserving performance space] is a really bogged down process,” said McGirty. “[Applicants] call me and then I send an e-mail request to the Registrar’s office and wait for them to respond.”

“We do try to maintain that students get priority use of Elliot [University Center] because they paid for the building,” said McGirty. “We try not to open our reservation book until March.”

“We’re committed first of all to our own [music] students,” said School of Music Concert Manager Mary Anne Bolick, “Part of their degree requirement is to give a certain number of recitals while they’re here.”

Bolick is in charge of booking the larger Music School facilities like the main and organ recital halls..

“No one has approached me about using the facilities,” said Bolick.