A new student group at Penn State is hoping to put the spotlight back on student bands in the local music scene.
Launching this fall, Happy Valley Music Label will work to book Penn State student artists at downtown bars and campus events and on local radio stations. Bands will also receive publicity support for concerts booked through the label.
The idea for the label began during the last school year, when president Kevin Seifert came to Penn State as a freshman.
He was aware of thriving music scenes in other college towns and was surprised to see that Penn State did not have something similar.
“I follow a lot small-time bands from other schools and didn’t find that same kind of music scene when I came to Penn State,” Seifert said. “I was talking to some alumni how when they went to school, the downtown scene was run by music, and I started to get this idea of how to get students back involved.”
The group began accepting applications from student bands over the summer and has already partnered with local DJ Keegan Tawa and student rockers Lenina Crowne.
Other artist announcements are expected to be made throughout the semester, Seifert said.
Eli Gelernter, the group’s vice president, did a summer internship with International Creative Management in Newark, N.J., and sees the label as another opportunity to work toward a career in the music industry.
Gelernter and Seifert spent the summer meeting with bar and restaurant owners in State College to discuss the possibility of booking student artists for shows.
Gelernter said the group’s long-term goals include planning a benefit concert featuring its artists at Penn State’s Dance Marathon in February.
“We want to provide talented students at Penn State the opportunity to sing or do whatever they want to do,” Gelernter said. “We want to get experience as music connoisseurs and let artists really have fulfilling creative experience.”
In addition to providing exposure to student bands, Happy Valley Music Label’s members hope to gain experience that could lead toward a career in the music industry after graduation.
“Music is the thing I love most in life, and I think what we’re doing is a good start that will tell me if I’m going to get a job in this field after I graduate,” Gelernter said.
The group is currently looking for students to join its booking and promotion committees. For more information, visit hvml.weebly.com.