By Adriana Parente
Whether it’s strumming a guitar or leading a band, students now have the opportunity to showcase their talents.
Musicians@Ryerson (M@R) has evolved into a network of musicians that help each other with gigs and showcase events.
“We don’t have a specfic music program here, [so] it’s tough to have that community,” said Anita Cazzola, vice president of Musicians At Ryerson. “However, there are so many musically creative and passionate students at Ryerson.”
The group came together in 2011 through word of mouth, starting off with 30 members who knew each other from playing instruments.
It wasn’t until March 2014 that it became an official student group.
Cazzola said the group keeps its 900 members connected through Facebook and Twitter to inform them about upcoming shows and gigs.
The group arranges two events per week: open mic on Wednesdays and social jam sessions.
Aarone Amino, the performance chair for M@R, is responsible for finding performers for upcoming events. He said that they’re usually discovered at open mics.
Cazzola and Justin Bellmore, executive member of the group, have begun auditions for an a capella project.
“We’ve just selected six members after a series of auditions and will be starting up rehearsals once we get back from reading week,” said Cazzola.
She said they are keeping it open-ended with their goals because they want to see what all the singers involved have to offer creatively.
Cazzola said musicians in the group are bound to find people that they click with.
Mohammed Yassin, a third-year sociology student and member of the group, contributes to organizing events. His band shares his industry contacts with other members of M@R.
“We run a monthly showcase at a place called Anette Studios,” Yassin said. “I brought the idea of collaborating on a show to the Musicians At Ryerson acts, which we did twice.”
Cazzola said there is an artist directory on their website. Students can link to YouTube, Soundcloud and other music outlets.
Anyone can browse through the directory when they’re looking for performers for an event. She said that her band was found through the directory and asked to play a wedding this summer.
“We’re in the biggest hub in Canada for musicians to start out with their careers,” said Cazzola.”It’s important to have a music scene at Ryerson.”