I’ve been involved in music for most of my life, and I knew that wouldn’t change at Tufts. Perhaps I would start a band, join an ensemble, audition for an a cappella group or just take some piano lessons. I would have been happy with any one of these possibilities – but I hadn’t considered the option that ended up being the most enjoyable.
I stumbled upon Applejam at the activities fair during the first week of school last semester. After I stopped by all the clubs I had previously thought about joining – the radio station and a few of the on-campus publications – I wandered around the rest of the booths. Each member of Tufts’ huge, diverse assortment of extracurriculars, from the Biomedical Engineering Society to the miming troupe HYPE, was represented there. I was talked into signing my name on a few more general interest sheets, but it didn’t seem like my I would be getting involved in any clubs outside my initial interests.
One of the last booths I stopped at had a slightly off-beat sign-up sheet. To the right of the columns requesting basic things like name and e-mail address, there was a space to write down some of your favorite music. I saw that the booth was for a club called “Applejam”, but that didn’t tell me much about what the club did. I learned that its goal was to foster the local music scene in and around the Tufts community; to put together small concerts featuring independent bands that are either based in the area or stop by during a tour.
Immediately, I was really enthusiastic about getting involved. I didn’t know such a club existed. I knew about the concert board, which puts together bigger Tufts concerts a few times a year, but I thought I would have to go off campus a bit to get in touch with an independent music scene. I started going to meetings, and I got to play a small role in the series of tremendously successful shows that spanned all genres, from rap to surf rock to death metal, that kept a big part of the Tufts community engaged with local, independent music throughout the semester.
The club has been around a long time – since the 70s. As a freshman, I can’t say for sure whether the club has had a big impact in the past. What I’ve heard from older members, however, is that last semester saw the most Applejam shows with the most energetic crowds. A lot of Tufts students seem to really appreciate having a live music scene right on campus, and all the bands really appreciate the opportunity to get to play for such an open-minded, enthusiastic audience. Even as a new member of the group, it’s been incredibly rewarding to help put these events together and watch so many people embrace such an awesome, accessible weekend option.
Already, Applejam has shows lined up all throughout the Spring semester, the first of which was this past Friday. If last week’s performance was any indication of how the semester will go, then Applejam will see even more inspired performances from great musicians, and hundreds more psyched Tufts students.