April 23, 2019 | 71° F

Students, Hub City residents can save Rutgers University Musicians Guild

Photo by Michelle Klejmont |

New Brunswick — and Rutgers, by association — is known for a number of things. Take, for instance, fat sandwiches, the infamous rivalry with Princeton and its underground music scene. But the latter is in danger of being shut down, unless students and Hub City residents act to bring it back from the brink.

On Friday, Nov. 13, the Rutgers University Musicians Guild is hosting a live show that promises an evening filled with fun, music and fellow music patrons.

“Save the Music!” is a fundraising event designed to help raise money and awareness for the Musicians Guild, which is currently in danger of being shut down.

The event kicks off at 7 p.m. at 14 Hartwell St. in New Brunswick, and has three bands in the lineup. According to the official Facebook page, the music genres range from indie to folk to rock. With such a mix, the music is sure to appeal to a wide range of music enthusiasts.

“Right now we are in the process of trying to find a different venue because it’s outside and it’s going to be really cold,” said Charly Santagado, treasurer of the Musicians Guild and a School of Arts and Sciences junior. “We are trying to find a basement, but as of right now it is being held in the backyard of 14 Hartwell St.”

The Rutgers University Musicians Guild is a student-run organization that promotes local talent and creates a relaxed environment where like-minded individuals can get together, perform and socialize. They typically run coffeehouse nights every other week out of the Red Lion Café inside the College Avenue Student Center.

“I became treasurer this semester,” Santagado said. “(When) I finally met with our advisor, she told me that we are in a lot of debt and that we need to pay it back (by) this semester.”

According to the Facebook page, the event is free with a suggested $5 donation.

“We have three bands playing: a band called Rose Boulevard, a band called Little Rose and then my band, which is Power Lines,” said Matt Dilonno, a band member from Power Lines. “We are hopefully going to start at 7 (p.m.) and run no later than 10. Weather permitting, it is going to be a really great time.”

Dilonno and his band are unofficially affiliated with the Rutgers University Musicians Guild, he said. They often play at the coffeehouses and help them with various things like promotion.

“It is a very loose bind, but we all have the same goal,” he said. “We are all supporting local music.”

Coffeehouse events usually run from 7 or 8 p.m. until about 11 p.m. In the past, they have had a range of performances — everything from acoustic to metal to rap, Santagado said. They even once had an experimental rap band play once.

“We do all the scheduling in advance,” she said. “People usually contact the page and we set up a schedule. We usually have more people signing up than we can fit in one day so we have them sign up for the next one.”

Previously, the club provided free food during their bi-monthly coffeehouses, she said. But because of financial struggles they have had to scale back on complementary fare until they can raise enough money.

“The Coffeehouses usually do pretty well ... (Save Local Music!) is going to have more of an energetic vibe,” Dilonno said. “This is the first event this year where we are plugging in and rocking out a little bit harder. Hopefully it will attract the same kind of crowd.”

Running shows like these often has a lot more behind-the-scenes costs than most people realize. Money is needed to rent a public announcement (P.A.) system, stage and other things like that, he said.

If the turnout is large enough and the club manages to raise enough money, then they would be able to see a continued promotion of talent and music in and around the New Brunswick area.

“I definitely think it’s worth coming to,” Dilonno said. “It’s going to be a great way to kick off the weekend. It’s for a good cause and it’s totally free ... donations are optional.”

Francesca Falzon

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