A Day Of Music: UNC students will play all over Greeley and in parts of Weld County Friday for first-ever event | MyWindsorNow.com

A Day Of Music: UNC students will play all over Greeley and in parts of Weld County Friday for first-ever event

Dan England
dengland@greeleytribune.com

Tyler Vandermeer attended a marching band festival with his grandparents when he was a kid. He was fascinated with the drums.

Those drums were the ultimate earworm, like a chewing gum commercial or a song from Whitesnake. They rattled around his brain for years, until he eventually gave up baseball for band. He's now a senior at the University of Northern Colorado studying music education and a drummer himself. He'll share his love for the drums by marching around UNC and the 16th Street business corridor with his Brazilian drum group.

The group will be one of dozens playing around Greeley and parts of Weld County on Friday as a part of the first UNC Day of Music. The idea was to require every music student at UNC to develop an idea for a gig, book that gig and then play it. UNC's working on various ways to encourage students to think about the business side of being an artist. An entrepreneurial certificate from UNC's Monfort School of Business is one way. This Day of Music is another. Plus it's a great marketing tool.

"Students need the opportunity to combine the amazing training they get in the School of Music from our faculty, with the freedom and opportunity to put it directly into practice," said Michael Alexander, director of the School of Music, who came up with the idea.

There are so many groups, more than 80 events, it will be hard to avoid them unless you stay inside, especially if you're in downtown Greeley. Most, if not all, of those performances are free, and many are in public places, such as parks or plazas.

Vandermeer's group may be one of the more unique ones. His drum instructor came up with the idea. There's no written music, so communication is the key to making it work. There's a framework, much like a jazz song, and it's up to the other drummers to listen to the leader and answer his calls.

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"This kind of ethnic music is foreign to our Western ears," Vandermeer said. "But it's interactive and exciting."

Alexander said UNC will do the event again.

"I'm sure the event will continue to grow and evolve in the coming years," he said, "but we're already discussing how to make this bigger and better for next year."

The parade, like many events, won't last too long. In his case it will go about an hour. It will have to end by 3 p.m. That's when Vandermeer joins a marimba group that plays at John Galt Coffee just up the block from where his Brazilian group will start an hour earlier.

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Day of Music

There’s a lot going on all day Friday, from the early morning to fairly late at night. If you want to try to catch a few groups — you won’t be able to see them all — go to http://arts.unco.edu/music/day-of-music.