I had the chance to chat with the co-directors of UR Concerts, KEY Scholar Devin Embil and senior Jennifer Yeh, to get a better sense of what the student organization is all about. Responsible for putting on some of the biggest shows on campus, UR Concerts continues to set the bar for entertainment on campus.
How does UR Concerts decide which artists to invite?
Embil: We use concertideas.com to compile a list of artists that fit our price range. We try to pick from a variety of genres that we later put in a survey that is sent to the student body via Facebook and tabling. We use the results to gauge student opinion on which music acts they would want to see on campus.
Who ultimately makes the decision?
Yeh: Based on monetary restrictions and date availability, Devin, our club advisor, Alicia Lewis, and I make the final decision about who comes to perform.
How do you contact artists?
Embil: We work with a booking agent at Concert Ideas who gets us in contact with the bands we are interested in.
Who negotiates with the artists?
Yeh: Same answer as the previous question. Our booking agent will negotiate the best price with the bands, but we review and negotiate the contract particulars.
How do you deal with scheduled artists cancelling?
Yeh: The best we can. When OAR cancelled three days before Dandelion Day 2012 we had to find a replacement fast. We worked closely with our agent to find bands travelling through the area that could possibly do a show.
How did UR Concerts originate?
Embil: A bunch of students in the 1980s saw the need for concert programming on campus and formed the group. Jennifer and I met the founders last year during Meliora Weekend when they came to a UR Concerts reunion. It was fun to hear the stories, similarities, and differences of today’s shows.
How did you get involved?
Embil: I joined as a freshman. I used to do some concert programming in high school, and my mom was involved with her concerts team when she was in college.
Yeh: I joined my sophomore year at the activities fair and became Coffeehouse Chair.
What is your favorite part of UR Concerts?
Embil: Seeing a successful show run smoothly and having positive feedback from students and the UR community.
What are the group’s future plans?
Yeh: We’re slowly looking into possible bands for the spring concert and D-Day concert. In addition to our larger shows, we put on weekly acoustic concerts featuring student musicians every Friday in Starbucks with the coffeehouse series. We also put on monthly shows with student bands at the Drama House called ROC Thursdays.
How can students get involved?
Anyone who is interested can come to our meetings at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays in the Ruth Merrill Center.
Shinseki is a member of
the class of 2015.