For those who don’t know, theme housing on Sewanee campus is a house, managed by students, that people with similar interests live in. Examples include the Healthy Hut, the Community Engagement House, the Spanish House, and the Women’s Center. Students petition to have a themed house started and, based off of house availability, get accepted or denied. The newest addition to Sewanee collection of theme houses is the Music House, started by Fiona Charnow C’20. I interviewed Fiona to give you the scoop on just what the Music House is about.
1. Why did you decide to create a Music House? I decided to start the Music House because I recognized the general lack of space for musicians to come together and play, write, share ideas, etc. Being a musician myself, I found it really difficult to meet other musicians (I knew they were out there, just didn’t know where to go!). I decided that the solution was to create a place that could serve as a home-base for all things music.
2. What was the process of starting your own theme house like? Being a freshman trying to start a theme house was tough! I had no idea where to start, and even once I did it was a million emails and meetings a week to make sure I met all the guidelines and expectations that were needed; the last thing I wanted was to go through the whole process, mess up one tiny thing, and have to start all over again. Once I submitted the application, it was indeed a nerve-wracking couple of weeks waiting to see if a whole year’s hard work would pay off. If it wasn’t for the help of friends and the patience of the many res-life folks, the Music House would not be here today.
3. What kind of events has the Music House done so far? So far the Music House has had a tie-dye/music event with Hodgson and Phillips and a cookie decorating open house.
4. Do you have any events coming up for people to look forward to? What are some events that will be happening in the future further out? Our next event is co-hosting the annual Farm to Table event with the Greenhouse next Friday (September 29th). The dates of other future events are still tentative, but we have a lot lined up for this semester! We’ll be pairing with organizations and groups on campus doing all sorts of events such as “Aux Battles”, “Battle of the Bands”, karaoke nights, etc. We, along with Mountaintop Musicians, will also be putting on semi-weekly open mics starting next Wednesday (September 27th) at Stirlings as well as the end of school year music festival, Sewaneroo.
5. What kind of musical community involvement do house members have? Let me just start by saying my house residents are some of the raddest people I know. Destiny Sewell (C’19) is a part of the Artistic Leadership Program with the music department, Sewanee Praise, Jazz Band, and plays multiple instruments including piano, flute, guitar, and ukulele. Reevie Walton (C’18) has been involved in all of the a Capella groups and is currently in Cadence; she also plays piano, ukulele, sings, and writes her own music. Campbell Stuart (C’20) plays the cello, “dabbles in guitar”, and is “un-ironically good at the recorder”; she is also an expert and lover of musical theater. Cal Oakley (C’19) is our resident music enthusiast; he listens to all types of bands and musicians, while also occasionally DJ-ing (catch him at Delt). Maria Ramirez (C’20) is in the Sewanee Symphony Orchestra and is currently learning guitar and piano and sings as well. I myself (C’20) am president of Mountaintop Musicians, Founder/Manager/Director of the music house, and am apart of three bands (The Thumping Richards, Studio IV, and FNCHAOS); I play guitar, bass, and piano as well as sing and write my own music.
Campbell Stuart C’20
Cal Oakley C’19
Maria Ramirez C’20
Destiny Sewell C’19
Reevie Walton C’18
Fiona Charnow C’20
6. What can someone do in order to live in the Music House in the future? Want to live in the Music House next year? Just have a passion for music! Seriously, you do not have to play an instrument or sing or have any prior knowledge or background in music theory. This house is for everyone, including music enthusiasts alone. Paperwork-wise: of course there will be an application towards the end of the year for students who are interested to fill out, but there are no other requirements attached to that.
7. What are your hopes for the future of the Music House? My hope for the Music House is of course to thrive; I want this place to be oozing of music and creativity. Music is meant to be shared, and I want this house to be used like a tool in that way to share music with the Sewanee community. I also want more collaboration with students and organizations. The whole point of creating this place was to bring people together and I hope it continues to do that in a major way.