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Jam ND seeks to unite student musicians

| Thursday, January 13, 2022

Jam ND, a new club at Notre Dame, seeks to connect musicians over a mutual love for music and live performance. The club is looking for all types of musical artists, including singers, rappers and composers, to join the group and jam out.

Sophomore Evan Peters, president of Jam ND, said he found inspiration to establish the club after he attended the Student Activities Office’s Activities Fair in the fall semester. As he stood gazing around at the row of tables presenting the various music groups, he said, he could not help but feel as though something was missing. He said he was unable to find a music group that allowed musicians to simply come together and play music in a laid-back environment.

Peters said he believes other musicians would enjoy showcasing their talent, but perhaps could not devote themselves to a more time-intensive commitment such as the marching band.

“Our club is a lot more chill than other clubs,” Peters said. “It ties into performance and expression, and it’s a great way to meet other musicians on campus.”

Before coming to Notre Dame, Peters played the keyboard in his high school jazz ensemble. He has said he enjoyed playing with the other members of the group both during and outside of class. For Peters, the carefree music environment of a jam session is very important, because it allows the body and mind to synchronize and simply play music.

“When we weren’t playing during class, we would go into the practice room and jam and improvise,” Peters said. “I would like to see that experience here at Notre Dame.”

Besides his playing abilities, Peters is also a passionate composer. He has been writing for many years and said he hopes that other composers will join the group he leads.

“Jam ND would give other composers an outlet to share their music,” Peters said. “Other musicians can hop onto their piece and make it complete.”

Sophomore Hayden Strong serves as secretary of Jam ND. Strong bonded with Peters over their love of music and individual experiences in School of Rock, a music program that introduces kids to music through lessons and playing together in bands.

Strong plays the guitar, bass and drums, and he also sings, but said he has had a hard time finding other musicians to play with. For him, Jam ND falls in between starting a band and an organized music club.

“We want to target somewhere in the middle where we can make it easier for people to meet other musicians but remove the stakes and expectations associated with other groups,” Strong said. “We want to create a space that is casual and collaborative where musical ideas can flow.”

Although there are over 10 music performance clubs at Notre Dame, Peters expressed certainty that Jam ND will stand out and claim its own space. Peters and Strong said they were excited to bring musicians together and set up events like on-campus performances, Battle of the Bands and visits to local coffee shops.

Jam ND’s first meeting will be held Sunday in the LaFortune Student Center.

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