In the early evening of February 24, the room SUB 100 North was completely transformed into a magical coffee house getaway. This recent event, hosted by the New Paltz Music Collective (NPMC) featured an array of talented student performers who dazzled the room with acoustic renditions of classic tunes. As per their promotional poster, attendees were encouraged to “come sip some coffee and listen to some unplugged sets.”
The event consisted of four different performances: Carlin, Poroyé, Eric James and Pals. These wonderful performers were selected by club members who had the vision of the coffee house vibe in mind.
“Poroyé is a member of the club, and I have caught her live before. I love her voice and knew as soon as we came up with the idea she’d be a perfect fit,” President of the NPMC, Alli Dempsey said. “With Carlin, I’ve also seen her live and thought her originals and acoustic guitar skills would also be fitting. Eric James reached out to us personally to inquire about a gig, and so did Pals — a newer band in New Paltz — so we decided to give them a platform to help boost their outreach, since their sounds also fit beautifully with our vision.”
The space was glittering with lights and a tapestry was hung behind the makeshift stage. The majority of the lights were off for this event, making way for a faint light illuminating performers. The dark scene set the vibe of a chill coffee house, which was very comforting for audience members.
“At our last show, we had a band called monarch. do an acoustic set. Everyone got out of their chairs to sit cross-legged on the floor in front of the stage,” Dempsey shared. “It was such a powerfully intimate and cozy moment and everyone in the club was talking about it for weeks after. We wanted to create that vibe again, so we decided to start planning an all-acoustic bill and serve coffee because the energy at coffee shop open-mics are very similar to what we were trying to do.”
The band Pals is newer to the New Paltz music scene, consisting of second-year jazz guitar major Sawyer Gold on vocals and bass, second-year jazz drumming Taylor Setterstrom on drums and third-year digital media production major Matt Florio on guitar. “We’re planning our homage to MTV Unplugged, and the idea of stripping down grunge music to its core,” Gold said. “It’s an honor to be included in this performance, and to be given the opportunity to showcase our sound.”
The Music Collective hosts a myriad of events throughout the year, including their well-known “Build-a-Band” event, which allows for people to collaborate and potentially start performing together themselves! New Paltz is such a perfect place to showcase your creativity, and getting involved has never been easier. It’s almost shocking that just a few years ago these events were moved virtually due to COVID-19.
“We hold Music Collective meetings at 5 p.m. on Fridays in SUB 415,” Dempsey said. “We’re currently planning to have another show in March, so we are looking for any and all hands on deck to help execute it.”
You can check out the NPMC by following them on instagram @npmusiccollective, or by dropping by at a meeting!