The Capital District has garnered a hefty amount of respect as of late within the music industry. In recent years our region has been in the same conversation as Los Angeles, New York and Nashville when it comes to our music scene.
No. The neon lights are still bright on Broadway, and doe-eyed musicians still flock to the Sunset Strip. Those cities will continue to remain destinations for those wishing to pursue a career in music. That won’t change.
What is changing is the collective perspective as to the level of talent and education our local musicians have.
Our music scene is not defined by the bars in our downtowns.
In terms of education, the College of Saint Rose has a music department that truly is among the best in the country. We did a story on that a few years ago, highlighting a curriculum that covers musicianship, management and marketing. In the end, a budding young artist can walk out with a diploma and a CD, complete with a professional looking front cover. But, most important, somewhere in between the student has experienced the ins and outs of a competitive industry.
That local talent will be showcased, in part, this week with the MOVE Music Festival this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It promises live music, but that’s only half of the cause. Now in its sixth year, the festival also continues to educate musicians by offering clinics and exposure to industry insiders for advice.
In this week’s edition of TheSpot518, we have conversations with some of those insiders, including festival organizer Bernie Walters, President of The Indian Ledge Music Group. The energy and excitement that was present just a short time ago for Sawyer Fredericks while he was on TV’s “The Voice,” is here now as we speak to those involved with the festival.
As apprehensive one may be to claim the Capital District is among the best regions for musicians and lovers of music, there is a legitimate claim to be had.
WEQX radio host Jason Keller has witnessed the ebbs and flows of the music talent coming from this area for the past 20 years. Those who eagerly tuned in to watch Fredericks on television, or line-up to see him perform, only received a taste of what others have already recognized. All too often, those well informed individuals may be just 25 people in a room.
It is commonplace to downplay the gifts bestowed upon us, whether it be a talented pool of individuals who call the Capital District home or our own gifts. Within ourselves, it may be fear of criticism that prevents us from stepping out into the light. If anything, let this week’s music festival — and those who are a part of it — inspire you to take a step out into the light and challenge yourself to be the person you want.
Because, if Smallbany can to go toe-to-toe with New York City, what’s stopping you?