Broad Street Records Fosters Musical Talent at Colgate

Kerry Houston

Founded by four seniors in 2009 as a way to unite musicians on campus, Broad Street Records (BSR) has expanded to become a group on campus that boasts over 50 members and organizes at least 10 events each semester aimed at fostering a positive campus-town relationship through a mutual love of music.

BSR’s first main event was Gatestock, a music festival in the fall semester that showcases many student and local bands. Despite it always hailing or raining on the day of the festival, over 700 people from both Colgate and the Hamilton community now attend this annual event.

Co-president of BSR senior Caitlin Grossjung has been instrumental in expanding BSR. Involved in BSR since her first year, Grossjung and other dedicated BSR members have worked to develop a wide variety of events since the first Gatestock.

The group now hosts “Jam Sessions” every month and often organizes shows downtown at the Barge Canal Coffee Company. Christmas caroling with musical instruments and Valentine’s Day “Serenadagrams” are just two of BSR’s seasonal hits. Last weekend, BSR collaborated with “WeeFunk,” WRCU and SCOPE for a concert at Delta Upsilon fraternity. BSR also recently collaborated with Poetically Minded for an event that over 40 people attended and its members are looking forward to similar collaborations in the future.

“Things have really taken off this year in terms of fostering this musical community,” Grossjung said.

One of the group’s main goals is to provide students with the opportunity to find other musicians. BSR has a master list of the musicians at Colgate and works to connect others searching for musicians for various events and performances.

“We set up showcases for artists and we connect venues with artists – Donovan’s now has more music than ever before,” Grossjung said.        

Many BSR members also appear on Grossjung’s weekly BSR radio show that she began her sophomore year. 

“BSR is the face of the singer/songwriter community here at Colgate and gives a voice to all the individual musicians here who otherwise might not have an opportunity to showcase their talents,” first-year and member James Carino said.

One of the biggest obstacles BSR faced was its lack of a practice room for its musicians. This past fall, Grossjung joined Thought Into Action Institute (TIA) and was able to connect with alumni and other mentors to discover a sound-proof room under the archway of Drake Hall. Obtaining permission to use this room and transform it into a practice studio has been a huge accomplishment for BSR. “You know people are dedicated to bring the arts when you have at least 10 people at every meeting saying ‘let’s do music everywhere we can’,” senior and co-president of BSR Caitlin Grossjung said.

One of BSR’s key strengths is its youth; its members are primarily first-years and sophomores who are excited about continuing to expand the club. Anyone who is an artist on campus can join BSR, yet many of the group’s members serve primarily administrative roles.

“Without a doubt, joining BRS has been the best decision I’ve made since choosing to come to Colgate. Being a musician myself, it has been fantastic to work alongside other musicians and BSR officers to organize different events that could showcase all different genres of music … People don’t even know how much work we are all putting in. The opportunity to be vice president with a leader like Caitlin has been amazing and I’ll be sure to do my part to keep this group growing and expanding on campus,” first-year and co-president of BSR Dylan Guistra said.

BSR is excited about the launch of its new website, which is expected to be up by the end of this semester, will enable the group to better advertise its various musical groups and connect musicians both on campus and in the Hamilton community. BSR is also hosting a Silent Disco as a part of the Spring Party Weekend events.

“If you’re a musician, we want to give you the opportunity to perform … They’re really bringing the arts back to campus. When I came here, there was no musical community. Four years later, I can say I know most of the musicians on campus,” Grossjung said.

Contact Kerry Houston at [email protected].