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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggie Songwriters in Action

Mary Reyes

Aaron Cowell performs spoken word original “Artemis, My Little Huntress” as part of the Songwriter’s Showcase. 

The first Songwriter’s Showcase took place in the LAAH this Wednesday as the culmination of a new course on songwriting, featuring the voices of many aggie students and faculty members.

The program focused on the lyrical and musical stylings of several groups and individuals involved in the new English 359 course, which focused on songwriting and lyrics.

 Jennifer Wollock, who teaches the course and initially suggested the project, said that the course and the showcase came together as the result of previous involvement  of many members of the English Department in musical groups and the desire to rekindle the interest of the student body.

 “There are a lot of songwriters in this department and it seemed like no one was willing to stick their neck out, so I stuck my neck out and said everyone should help me, and they’ve done that,” she said.

“We really built a songwriting program through this course.”

Each student or group presented their own work, with advice from the faculty and staff involved in the program.

 “Dr. Wollock challenged us to write a song about a social issue, and I knew immediately what I wanted to write about, I just didn’t know how,” said Alanna O’Connell, a junior english major who presented her poem, “Wings”, at the showcase.

The students presented lyrics and songs that they had written over the course of the semester.

“It’s exciting to see A&M, such an engineer-oriented school, have a program like this,” said Lauren Silva, junior engish major and a member of the songwriting class.

“I think this could be the first step to making the music program more accessible to anyone.”

 She says that there are students in the program that specialize in visuals as well as the lyrical and musical aspects of the program.

 “It’s fun to have such a fun, judge-free environment where students can perform works in progress in front of their peers. This has been a great class to connect with other students through our mutual love for music and how we interpret it. Hopefully this experimental course will create a stepping stone for other classes to incorporate similar techniques on sharing lyrics, music, and full compositions,” Silva said.

 Wollock said that the program has had assistance from participants both on and off campus, including country singer and aggie alumni Granger Smith.

“Granger Smith said if he had had access to the program as a student, it would have jump-started his career and saved him about three years,” she said.

She said she hopes that the program will become an annual event and that student participation will encourage the creation of future performances.


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