Drew University Music Society: a Magnet for Music Lovers and Open to All

by Juliana Vehslage

3 mins read
macro photo of piano keys
Photo by Fernando Arcos on Pexels.com

Rediscovered record archives, open mic nights, a student-run ‘So You Think You Can Sing?’ and the possibility of sending students into a High School Musical frenzy—all made possible by Drew University’s new Club, the Music Society. 

Drew University Music Society (DUMS) was founded by Maddie Ortiz (‘24). Over the past month, the club has been working to build a board which currently comprises Ortiz as president, Brynn McCarthy (‘25) as vice president, Nicole Verga (‘23) as Secretary, Amelia Tirey (‘25) as treasurer and Sarah Szuchman (‘24) as publicist.

While Drew invites passionate students to its theater and acapella groups, DUMS will bring new opportunities to those who are not majoring in theater or music. When Trevor Weston, Chair of the Music department, brought up the idea of DUMS as a solution, Ortiz jumped at the opportunity. 

macro photo of piano keys
Photo by Fernando Arcos on Pexels.com

“Music is something I am passionate about and wanted for the school,” Ortiz said, “So I felt like it would be a good challenge to take on.”

The club originally emerged when Weston began teaching at Drew in 2009 and is the same organization that secured the music theme house. He sought to start up the club again because of the opportunities they provide for students, and is glad it has returned.

The process began with walls plastered in DUMS flyers. “Starting the club was not stressful, I was more worried no one would join,” Ortiz said. “I kept pestering the music department and put up posters all over the Dorothy Young Arts Center.” 

The next step in the process is to redecorate the Music Archives as a place for students and members to gather. Ortiz said the board members have planned to refurnish the area with new couches, a turntable and CD player.

DUMS plans to hold open mic nights with auditions and ‘So You Think You Can Sing?’ where members can win prizes. Ortiz said the inspiration behind these were events held at her high school.

“It’ll be cool for people who aren’t music majors to have photographs of them expressing their musical interests,” Szuchman, who expects to capture these performances, said. “When performance is for a class it can become stressful.”

As of now, Ortiz says she is looking for people who want to be involved. She encourages people who like to sing, perform, listen to vinyls or play instruments to join. 

DUMS first board meeting will be this Friday, April 15, and club meetings will begin in the fall semester of 2022. 

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