Music Appreciation Club Brings Students Together

The welcoming sound of piano echoes throughout the hallway behind Santa Monica College’s concert hall on the college's Performing Arts Center. Performing at the head of the class is Leo Rodriguez, 20, president of the Music Appreciation club who is excited to get the club up and running again for another semester along with previous members and newcomers.

The music appreciation club was founded in 2015 and is “mainly dedicated to providing an encouraging platform for musicians and enthusiasts through workshops, concerts, collaborations, and live performances,” Rodriguez said. “We’re just basically trying to bring music lovers together man, that’s all it is.”

He emphasized that the club strives to create a welcoming atmosphere. “We don’t look at your skill set or anything like that, [It’s] more of a collaborative collective experience, a networking thing,” Rodriguez said.

Gary Galeas, 20, an all-around music lover, says he “has gotten out of his shell,” since joining the club. He has also made friends in the club and it inspired him to join other clubs. “Its really cool that there's a music club, that a bunch of people that like the same thing can get together and perform and just do what they like to do.”

Last semester, the music appreciation club collaborated with the Adelante club to hold a banquet for Thanksgiving. The music club performed both pieces that they had practiced, some of which was improvised by music club members that attended the event and wanted to join in.

Jaewon Choi and Luis Panotes are a couple that first met within the club. Since then they have been performing on stage as a duo, with Panotes on guitar and Choi on vocals. After spending some time with the music appreciation club, Choi decided to follow her passion and change her major to music. The couple performs regularly at the club’s events.

Rodriguez said “What music appreciation is, it's about bringing performers and enthusiasts together and giving people the platform to kind of meet each other through... and as long as you want to be on stage, we’ll give you that platform.” The music appreciation club meets every Thursday at 11:15 on the Performing Arts Campus in room 115.

The club will be performing on Thursday, March 29 at 4:30 pm in SMC’s Cayton Center on the main campus.