Music Collective Amps Up Crowd with Local Bands

Jeremy Berkin on drums and Sofia Verbilla on guitar and vocals

 Looking for an outlet to explore, express and pursue interests in all realms of music? Look no further than the New Paltz Music Collective (NPMC).

NPMC held their first show of the semester on Thursday, Feb. 1 in SUB 62/63 in a crowded room bustling with music lovers.

“I’m just so incredibly happy with how the club has evolved from a small, few person club booking shows on campus to a large collective that includes booking, journalism, photography, videography and more,” said President of NPMC, Rebecca Kavaler. “I don’t know where else students can get an opportunity like this.”

The NPMC began in 2012 as a club that booked small touring or local artists on campus. The club is venturing further out now and has evolved to booking shows, as well as creating zines and launching a website.

“The website is still in production, and we’re going to take some money out of our budget and actually buy a domain soon,” said Vice President Jon Sherburne. “It’s where we will be posting articles, photographs, interviews and eventually a podcast which will be broadcasted across different sites as well.

As for the zines, the NPMC plans on publishing them monthly and gearing them around the music scene.

“The zine is going to be published once a month where we will have different articles in relation to music and the music scene, along with some more creative pieces like song lyrics and poems,” said Social Media and Outreach director Ally Turk. “Anyone can come write, do photography or video for us as well.”

The first show of the semester opened with local New Paltz band Foxy Dads, a project of Ilana Friedman and Marissa Carroll, and started the show off on a light indie pop note.

“I thought the opening acts were good and matched the vibe of the night,” said second-year Sophia Panagatos. “I’m glad a lot of people showed up and can’t wait for the next show!”         

Following Foxy Dads was Philadelphia-based band Harmony Woods, consisting of Sofia Verbilla (lead vocals/guitar), Chance Halter (lead guitar), Hank Byerly (bass) and Jeremy Berkin (drums, temporarily) and kicked it up a notch to a harder alternative indie rock feeling.

The night ended with Purchase, New York-based band Adult Mom, comprised of Stephanie Knipe (lead vocals/guitar), Liv Battell (drums), Bruce Hamilton (bass) and Lily Mastrodimos (lead guitar). They are known for their indie bedroom pop sound.

“For the rest of the semester, we’re hoping to put on four more shows and possibly one large fundraiser show for a charity at the end of the semester,” said Kavaler. “I’m looking into booking either Vundabar or Slaughter Beach, Dog for our next show, which will probably be in March.”

The goal of the club is to provide a safe environment for entertainment for students, as well as opening people up to new music. To join, people can email them or show up at meetings throughout the year. 

“I’m excited to pretty much build this club from the ground up with Rebecca and Ally, and to be able to create lots of different content that reaches a lot of people,” said Sherburne. “It’s an amazing feeling.”

The New Paltz Music Collective can be reached by email at newpaltzmusiccollective@gmail.com, on instagram at npmusiccollective and on Facebook at New Paltz Music Collective.