House show venue creates community space for student musicians


Photo contributed by Nick Fernandez

Odder Space was one of the six musical acts who performed at The Willow on Friday, Sept. 16.

Eleanor Chan, Reporter

Junior Nick Fernandez and senior Dylan Herrera have created a music venue for local, student musicians to showcase their talents at Fernandez’s home in Thousand Oaks named The Willow.

As there were few events that allowed for student musicians and bands to perform on campus, Fernandez and Herrera wanted to combine the formal concept of Cal Lu Palooza and the informal concept of Open Mic Night.

“What we want it to be is just musicians from Cal Lu performing and sharing their music,” Fernandez said.

The first show opened with six musical acts: Project D, Odder Space, Lotus Eclipse, Cash Only, She’s From Poland and Boddah.  With two upcoming shows in October, Herrera shares plans for future shows and the invitation to perform for other musicians.

“Just reach out to me via Instagram, @the.herrera, and we can schedule an artist or group to play at the next show. We’re planning to do a house show every two to three weeks,” Herrera said. 

Dmitrii Tabala, a fourth-year international student from Russia, has played his violin at Cal Lutheran events. He plays the keyboard and the violin in the band Project D, who were headliners at the first house show. The band consists of students Dmitrii Tabala, Dylan Herrera, Sydney Steinberg and Michael Florczyk. 

“The purpose of the show is to give us more opportunities to perform and there’s other bands like us that just want more opportunities to perform,” Tabala said. “We already had one show and it went really well.” 

Tabala, who just won at the Channel Islands Concerto Competition, hopes that by promoting and performing at these house shows, he’ll be able to spread the word about his upcoming concerts and performances. 

Julia Raszka, a third-year international student musician from Poland, is a part of the band She’s From Poland. 

“Since the hosts of the events, Nick and Dylan, are a part of my band, it was always our goal to perform on The Willow,” Raszka said. 

She’s From Poland performed on the first night and Raszka, Herrera and Fernandez hope to gather more audience members and performers by putting up posters and social media posts. 

Since The Willow is Fernandez’s home, there is no set-up and clean-up crew. Fernandez also provides equipment, but, according to him, it’s worth it.

“It’s not too much work as long as you’re passionate about what you’re doing! It can take a long time to set up before the show but we enjoy doing it, so it’s a fun experience. After it’s all done, it’s nice to be able to perform and even take a seat on the couch to watch other bands perform.” Fernandez said. 

The next house show is on Oct. 14, followed by Oct. 28, which will feature a Halloween theme.