This Saturday, March 12 at 3 p.m, Big Red Icon is giving Cornell music groups the chance to shine at Bailey Hall. Sponsored by Jazz+, Cornell Concert Commission, Slope Day Programming Board, Cornell University Department of Music and the Just About Music Program House, the winning group will emerge from this competition with the chance to play at this year’s Slope Fest, potentially even on Slope Day.
After 20 music groups answered an open call for video auditions last semester, a panel of students and professors chose six finalists out of those who competed. These finalists include Elevation 404, The Fuse, After Six, The Spencer Nachman Band, The Silas Brainard Band and Me and Some Friends. Performers’ excitement leading up to the event is clear, with the participating groups spending longer at rehearsal to work on all aspects of their performances.
Videos of each group’s performance will be posted online following the event, giving students a chance to vote for their favorite. Though attendees aren’t required to stay throughout the entire event, it’s highly encouraged to do so, as the “fantastic musical moments” promised by Big Red Icon will be best enjoyed live.
Despite the vibrant music scene found on Cornell’s campus, many groups don’t always get the chance for their music to be enjoyed by a vast audience. Big Red Icon hopes to change this, with the Bailey Hall venue providing professional sound and lighting as well as the capacity for a large crowd of music lovers.
One of the goals of this competition is to start to remedy the lacking concert setting at Cornell.
“During the pandemic, the music community fell apart,” Luke Ellis ’24, one of the event’s organizers, said. “Not entirely, but it became unclear what the scene is really like, so we’re just trying to revive that on campus.” Since most musicians at Cornell stay within their own group or genre, Big Red Icon hopes to give them a chance to branch out while providing groups with a goal to work towards.
Tickets are free and can be reserved at the event website, bigredicon.org, by students or any other music lovers in the Ithaca area. More updates closer to the event will also be posted there.
Aditi Hukerikar is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected]. She currently serves as an Assistant Arts Editor on the 140th Editorial Board.