New music club strikes a chord on campus

As a freshman, Devynn Belter had no idea what to expect from the student senate at California Lutheran University. They had postponed her hearing once in December and now it was February.

Her palms were sweaty and she was shaking. But she had finally convinced herself that this dream for the past few years needed to become a reality. Even in high school, this unique concept was always bouncing around in her mind. Besides, everyone who was invested was counting on her.

With a deep breath, she introduced herself to the senate and proposed a unique organization that was a semester in the making. Belter couldn’t have possibly expected that they would approve music club with 100 percent support.

For Belter, this club was kept in her dreams during the last two years of Newbury Park High School. Now that she was at Cal Lutheran, she began taking an active effort for it to be approved.

“I’m going to do it, finally,” Belter said. “My idea for it was just to hang out and play music. It was super fun and relaxing and I decided I wanted to make this a weekly thing because it really takes all the stress away.”

What started as an impromptu guitar jam session in the Thompson Courtyard gathered other musicians and became something more than a solo practice. Thus, she has formed her meetings to mirror the calm, relaxed and unifying vibe of music.

“So far we have just been winging it. Just come and play whatever,” Belter said. “A whole bunch of different people come and play a whole bunch of different instruments.”

As it stands, music club is a limited organization, but the club members prefer it that way.

“All of [the members] are in agreement right now that they want it to be relaxed.” Belter said. “There might be more organization as time goes on, but I want it to be what everyone wants.”

Meeting on Friday nights outside Starbucks at the fire pit or Kingsmen Park gazebo is working and club administration is not eager to change it. According to Belter, a piano in Overton hall in the future would be nice, along with caroling during the holidays, but these are not immediate priorities. Number one on the list will always be having fun.

“We haven’t filled the other officer positions yet,” Libby Baumgartner, freshman and treasurer of music club said. “We don’t really want that to be the big deal. Even if you don’t have any experience with singing or anything, I think it’s a cool idea. I don’t ever want it to be exclusive.”

The club continues to welcome all students and be about getting into a group of individuals to simply play and hear music.

“It’s an open forum deal right now,” Luke Menchaca, a counselor at Student Support Services and adviser to music club said. “Maybe a little bit more regimented in the future, but I think right now it’s kind of like this cool natural kind of flowing.”

Whether someone has no musical experience and just wants to clap along, or has had private lessons since childhood, all are welcome to join the festivities. It’s simply a safe place where people can come together, just play music and sound great.

“What the other side of the club that was interesting me was the goal of bringing the CLU community together through music,” Menchaca said. “It is a place where someone can share their music talents in a safe place. I think her goal was to really allow everyone to bring their own identity and their own ideas to the club and allow them to express it.”

More than anything, club members wanted to share the unifying aspects of music in an environment filled with musical and nonmusical students alike.

“No one is judging you. Everyone has a beautiful voice and we all sound great together,” Baumgartner said.

To Menchaca, music is a language beyond any other and is glad to see this channeled throughout the Cal Lutheran community.

“There is something to say about being in a group and having that harmony together in making something extremely beautiful,” Menchaca said. “Music is a universal language. Playing your instrument alone doesn’t justify the experience of being a musician.”

Belter’s nervousness, budget planning and going before senate was all worth it. The university now has a unique group dedicated to magnetic friendships and miraculous sound with no other motive than to have fun.

“If you’re there, you’re there, and we’re going to sing some songs.” Baumgartner said. “If you love music, if you love making music, if you love singing, you should definitely come out and just see what happens.”

Molly Strawn
Staff Writer
Published March 2nd, 2016