Amped up: students jam at campus venue

Burlington has become well known for its large music community and concert venues, showcasing musicians from local favorites to international hits.

While students might frequent bigger venues like Higher Ground, one of the lesser-known places to hear music is the University Heights Amphitheater on Athletic campus.

The amphitheater was constructed in 2006 as a part of the University Heights Student Residential Learning Complex project, according to the UVM website.

First-year Josh Schulz said he brought his upright bass to the amphitheater during his first week at UVM.

“I figured the acoustics would be good,” Schulz said, “so I came out here and started playing some jazz.”

In addition to good sound quality, he said the amphitheater also offered a ready audience.

“There are always people around,” Shultz said. “That’s one of the reasons I play bass… not only myself, but for others.”

While the space offerimg_1920s an informal practice area for students, it also serves as a venue for more organized events.

One such event, “Amps in the Amphitheater,” is an open mic followed by a live performance from a student band.

Senior Max Mashrick, previously the program director of Guitar House, said the event has been a weekly feature at the venue since Guitar House was founded in 2012.  

Senior Angelo Colarusso has been involved with the “Amps in the Amphitheater” program for three years. Colarusso said his primary role is emceeing the event and encouraging students to play on the stage.

Last year “Amps in the Amphitheater” was hosted by the Collaborative Music Experience, previously Guitar House, a program of the Living/Learning Center, Colarusso said.

While the Collaborative Music Experience was not accepted to L/L this year, Mashrick said “Amps in the Amphitheater” was able to continue this semester through the help of Ann Barlow, L/L Arts Initiative Director.

Colarusso said the positive environment of the amphitheater is crucial to making the event a good experience.  

“The amphitheater has great energy,” he said, “it’s a Friday night; everyone’s looking to have a good time.”

Students of all different abilities are encouraged to play, Colarusso said, “[the audience] isn’t really in a critical state of mind, it’s just a chance to get out there.”

The next “Amps in the Amphitheater” is set to take place  7 p.m. Sept. 16.  However, the amphitheater is open to musicians at any time.