The Student Programming Board hosts their annual Pacific Sounds Music and Arts Festival utilizing various online resources including Peppervine, Zoom, InstaLive and other digital platforms. The event was available for the Pepperdine community April 19-24. Image courtesy of The Student Programming Board
For the first time in Pepperdine history, The Student Programming Board held its annual Pacific Sounds Music and Art Festival virtually—over the span of six days—due to the remote nature of COVID-19.
Zoe Walsh, junior and The Board event planner, said Pacific Sounds Music and Art Festival is a Pepperdine tradition with performances from outside musical artists and Pepperdine students, as well as an art exhibit or art activity.
“Our vision for the festival was to create events that you and your housemates could sit down and watch together and have a good time,” Walsh said.
The event — which Walsh and her co-chair Rachell Stull coordinated — consisted of an online interactive art exhibit, two student openers by juniors Lauren Drake and Callie Mechelke, an outside-artist opener by Amanda Brown and a headliner concert by The Backseat Lovers.
“They did an amazing job with how they planned everything,” Drake said. “I felt definitely taken care of, I got to express my artistry the way that I wanted to and I think it was just an overall really great experience.”
Drake said a cool aspect of this year’s film festival was that people from both the Pepperdine community and her high school community were able to watch and listen to her perform.
“I just genuinely love to hear Pepperdine people perform because Pepperdine has so much talent,” junior Hope Dease said.
One of the reasons why Dease said she was excited to attend the festival was to support Mechelke, her best friend, as well as the other performers.
“Just with all the crazy things that have happened this year, I think the Pepperdine community has grown in their naturally empathetic nature of supporting each other,” Dease said. “I think music is really unique and everyone’s on board with music, like that’s not a polarizing thing at all unless you don’t like to listen to music, but I think it’s totally bonded people.”
Dease said The Backseat Lovers is one of her favorite bands and said she thought the band was a good choice because they appeal to a wide variety of music tastes.
“I feel like The Backseat Lovers is a smaller band, but a lot of people at Pepperdine know about the Backseat Lovers, so it was cool that we got them to come,” Dease said.
The Board ran the festival incredibly professionally online throughout the whole process, Drake said.
“I think it was such an incredible idea and such a great way to showcase our students and bring people together in appreciation for music and art,” Drake said. “I think The Board did such a wonderful job.”
Walsh said her team carefully curated the art exhibit by selecting pieces from 13 students throughout the Pepperdine community.
“We have art majors, we have members of Art Club, we also just have students who have no formal artistic affiliation but have created pieces that they’re proud of and that we are excited to show,” Walsh said.
The 3D virtual exhibit was live throughout the festival week with an opening night Monday, April 19, with some of the student artists live on Zoom.
“A lot of times, people can forget that The Board is just a group of 13 students,” Walsh said. “Pacific Sounds has been something me and my co-chair [Rachel Stull] have been very passionately working on,” Walsh said. “We want to have a good time and we’re with you guys in the community of wanting things to be fun and so we’ve been working our hardest to do that.”
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