On Thursday, Dec. 10, IPR held its inaugural Holiday Music Festival. Don’t let the name fool you, this wasn’t five guys in ugly sweaters singing carols. DJ BlazeOne (IPR Lab Staff member Paul Znascko) MC’d and performed between acts on Thursday as a procession of names from IPR and the Minnesota music scene took the stage. Students, faculty, staff, and members of the community shared snacks and conversation in the lobby area while the performers awed the crowd in the Live Lab. Live Show and Sound Production Chair Peter Greenlund and his students ran the boards and the light show.
The night started off with the country rockin’ Tex Pistols, featuring IPR instructors Scooter Nelson and Dik Shopteau with Music and Entertainment Business Program Chair Mitch Hare. Next, singer-songwriter Mary Jane Alm performed her brand of heartfelt, Americana vocals with members of the Tex Pistols backing her up. Then, IPR instructors Kevin Bowe and Steve Price, members of the Okemah Prophets, took the stage and pounded through a set of originals that smelled like Minneapolis in the late eighties, complete with dirty flannels and high top sneakers.
Former IPR student Savannah Smith cooled things off with a set of folky ukelele-accompanied tear-jerkers. Instructor Justin DeLeon and members of his band Swallows, along with a last minute sub of base player Dik Shopteau, absolutely filled the room with their massive Cajun/Blues/Americana sound. Lastly, current IPR students Justin Burke and Collin Smith performed as part of the Nice Guy Entertainment showcase.
In addition to the entertainment, door prizes and awards were handed out. Nominated and voted on by their peers, Sound Design for Visual Media instructor Micah Johnson picked up the 2015 Faculty member of the year award and Director of Career Services Sandra Robinson was voted staff member of the year.
At the end of the night, as the amps were loading and the stray tortilla crumbs cleared away, staffers were treated to a surprise message from an anonymous student. Written on a whiteboard in the conference room: “Thank you IPR, for a beautiful evening. Love – Your Students.”