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Tiny Desk Concert Highlights Student Musicians on Campus


On March 17, the Concert Board held their first Campus Musicians Tiny Desk concert. What was supposed to mirror NPR’s “Tiny Desk” shows became more like an underground concert. The Pause’s Lair provided a cozy, hole-in-the wall atmosphere with the simple stage, dark lighting, and minimal seating. The entire event felt as if it was set in a 90s movie about the discovery of a small artist or band, and whoever came to the event was a groupie of the performers on stage. Beyond the entertainment for the viewers, the event gave a great platform for student musicians to perform in a low-stakes environment. 

This was the case for Wintry Elementary, a freshmen trio that united during the 2022-2023 school year. If you love supporting small artists, then Wintry Elementary is the right group to follow. During their set, they debuted two original songs that encapsulated the group’s soft indie genre. Their performance felt special — it was the start of a growing band as it was their first live performance. 

Not only was the “Tiny Desk” concert a perfect environment for first-time performers, it was a place for well-loved student musicians to have fun and showcase their work as well. Performers such as Roofalanche, had students piling into the Lair and the hall just to watch their set. After their opening song, it wasn’t hard to understand the love for the group. With multi-talented and amusing members, the group gave a performance filled with skilled instrumentation and interesting lyrics, especially in an original song of theirs titled “I Wanted a Lemonade but You Ordered a Water, So I Ordered That Too and Now I’m Sad.”

Solo artist Ingrid Streitz ‘23 and band Manderson had students filling the Lair as well. Singing covers such as “Put Your Records On” and “Ceilings,” Streitz gave a sweet and relaxing performance with her lovely singing and harmonies. As for Manderson, a band that has been performing together since their freshmen year, they delivered a serotonin-boosting performance. Their set felt like a best friend’s living room performance. With great harmonies, vocals, and stage presence, they gave a highly entertaining show. In an interesting contrast to the rest of the performances was Hans Halstead’s ‘23 set. Filled with EDM-pop, Halstead delivered a lively performance akin to a houseparty. 

Though the event was enjoyable, changes could be made to improve the experience. The Lair provided an intimate atmosphere, but it lacked the space necessary to accommodate a large crowd and the performers’ equipment. At one point in the night, students were asked to leave due to safety and capacity concerns. As for the performers, it looked difficult for them to set up and prepare for their set efficiently as well as on time. With further development, the Campus Musicians Tiny Desk concert can become a bigger hit as a fun event to support small musicians, listen to new music, and watch entertaining shows.