By Terryn Kelly
The Schade Tree band, featuring art department Chair Hershall Seals, kicked off the Highways and Byways concert, performing an array of unique songs accompanied by soulful voices and acoustics.
This was the second show in the concert series, which took place in Hughes Recital Hall Nov. 12.
The concerts allow people from all walks of life to come together and experience different genres of music.
Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts Ted Barnes said, “What we would like to do is try and bring traditional music to the campus in all kinds of various forms.”
There was a small but enthusiastic crowd filled with older faces. Some clapped along to the music while others sang aloud.
Barnes said, “The community in general has been a pretty good turnout. We certainly want more student participation. The reaction to the concert series campus wide has not been as big a turnout as we would like. We would like to give back a little more and give something for the students to do.”
Barnes added that considering students’ budgets are often tight, the concert would be a fun campus event for them to attend for free and learn about traditional United States music locally.
When searching for talent to bring to the school, Director of the Conservatory of Music Jonathan Gary uses different avenues to accomplish the task at hand.
He said, “I will do my best to attend different venues especially in the Austin area, and I also do a lot of research online listening to recordings of performers. I get recommendations for other booking agencies, and we try to choose performers that can offer a variety of styles throughout the year.”
Darcy Deville is a solo performer and a member of the Austin Lounge Lizards, a well-known group in Texas. She is also a part of Woody Says, which is a musical that tells the story of Woody Gutherie’s life and music.
She just returned from touring in England with the Woody Says group, and they are up for a prestigious award in England similar to the Grammy Awards in America.
Deville performed many songs she wrote during the concert, and afterwards she shared which songs were featured on her CD.
The crowd was informed of the history of the small guitar she played, whose fingerboard was originally made for Mick Jagger.
Another artist appeared onstage alongside Deville named Jane Gillman. The two have worked in the music circuit for over 15 years. Gillman’s favorite song of the night that she performed was titled “Elsa’s Tune.”
She said, “The song was inspired by my grandmother and is a tribute to her life and what she stood for. This is a very special song for me.”
Deville ended the night by saying, “Live music still totally matters.”