Last night, the Bowdoin Music Collective (BMC) hosted its annual open mic night at Ladd House, which featured the usual slam poetry, singing and instrumentation. But according to BMC co-president Matt Leventhal ’17, this year is different as it’s the kick-off event for what the BMC hopes to be a year of revival of the music scene on campus. 

According to Leventhal, the student-directed club will focus specifically on cultivating an inclusive and diverse platform for musicians and music enthusiasts alike, partnering with various student organizations in an effort to appeal to a wide range of the student body. 

“Our club has been white male dominated for the last year or so and we’re trying to break that stereotype,” said Leventhal. “Anyone with even an interest in music, or if they want to form a band, or if they just want to be involved in event planning—everyone is welcome.” 

This inclusive energy was clear in the living room of Ladd, where a variety of singers, slam poets, bands and walk-ons took stage to a chorus of whoops and claps from the audience. 
Tobi Omola ’19, programming director and BMC representative for Ladd, said he was eager to host the event and show the campus community another dimension of the house. 

“As Ladd programming director, I also hope that it shows that Ladd isn’t only a party space,” he said. “This is a nice event where people can feel comfortable coming in and out—and it’s not the pub, it’s a homely environment.”

This concept of home is not unfamiliar to Leventhal, as he aims to instill a similar sense of belonging among what he hopes will become a burgeoning campus community of active musicians. 

“There’s so much that can be done to make people feel welcome and at home,” he said. “[Music] unites people. It’s another form of school spirit, in a way.” For him, it’s all about putting in what he calls the “leg work”: coordinating events, connecting artists and making things happen behind-the-scenes. 

“We have so much power here to make the music scene what we want, that I think the only limiting factor is people’s ability to commit time,” he said. “So I’m trying to take the load off of a lot of people who may or may not have free time to put into this, and sort of put in that time myself so all they have to do is show up and play.”

Leventhal has collaborated on planning a multitude of events with the Bowdoin Organic Garden, the Outing Club, Bowdoin Art Society and Peer Health in order to broaden the reach of the club. 

“Bowdoin can do so much better with making its music scene a social scene,” he said. “If we can make things happen, week after week, that are really student-oriented, my hope is that it will bring people together. The ideal is that suddenly [events] are popping up everywhere and we have a very vibrant social music scene.” 

The BMC has plans to host a Jazz Night on Thursday, September 29 at Jack Magee’s Pub and Grill.