Of all the things central to my college experience, the high quality of theatre and music, the gross quantity of delicious food, the talented and stuffed friends, and the not sleeping (sometimes happily, sometimes not) are all particularly salient, especially when they’re found in combination. The Granoff all night music festival combined them all - it was an influx of collegiate entertainment, potentially overwhelming for even the most experienced undergraduate. In short: it was an absolute blast, and it was all absolutely free.
To set the stage (pun intended), imagine the interior of Tufts’s pristine music center, Granoff (or just click this word). Now imagine happy people, catered (free!) food, musical instruments, balloons waiting to be popped, and mellifluous sounds strewn about (or this word). Now, lastly, imagine Kiniwe, Cheap Sox, B.E.A.T.S., President Anthony Monaco, elevator music, live twitter feeds, a Capella/marriage proposals, and nearly whatever else you can. Want or need more hyperlinks?
The event lasted from 8pm to around 3am in the morning, though by 4am things were still petering out, and included both official Tufts groups (see above hyperlinks!) and volunteering participants, bands, solo artists, friends looking to jam, etc. Playing myriad and occasionally unidentifiable styles of music, these performers occupied three main stages spanning two floors: Distler Performance Hall, the Varis Lecture Hall, and a large ensemble practice room. These venues were great, but so were the lobbies, the elevators, the nooks, and the crannies of Granoff. The only place music wasn’t may have been out the front door. But even then... B.E.A.T.S is pretty darn loud.
So what’s my role in all of this? I was fortunate enough to perform with a friend in Varis as “Critical Band” (check it out on wikipedia for a lesson in psychoacoustics). Although our setlist was admittedly embarrassing (think Katy Perry...), although our nerves were spiked playing for President Monaco(!) who came to watch(!!), and although our rehearsal time had been squashed between every other weekly commitment, the performance wasn’t as catastrophe-ridden as I had envisioned. In fact, it went well. Audience participation mitigated any embarrassment and President Monaco’s smile soothed any concerns. I swear, all I need for finals week is a picture of his smiling face.
After our 10pm performance I took to wandering about Granoff, stumbling into friends, live music, and chicken kebabs I had told myself I wouldn’t eat. By 4am I was as exhausted as I was content, but the night wasn’t quite over. Another friend and I found an available piano (of all the things to stumble upon in Granoff, a grand piano is actually pretty mundane) and played until we were politely asked to leave. I walked home with more songs than I can count stuck in my head.
I was drowsy this morning (the morning after), but here’s something else central to my college experience: feeling tired and knowing that whatever it was that kept me up was absolutely worth it.