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WVU students pitch in for Sounds of Summer concerts

Sounds of Summer

Hundreds of Morgantown residents and guests will head to Riverfront Park to hear live music this summer thanks in part to students at West Virginia University. 

As a sponsor of the Sounds of Summer concert series at Hazel Ruby McQuain Park, music industry students from the School of Music at WVU’s College of Creative Arts have been working on the management and production aspects of the free series.

“This concert series is the result of collaboration between WVU’s College of Creative Arts and Morgantown Board of Parks and Recreation, joining together to bring the Morgantown community free live music entertainment this Summer, in all types of musical genres,” said Darko Velichkovski, director of the music industry program. “As such, it is also a great opportunity for our music industry students to gain a meaningful experience in all the aspects of live music production management and organization. Their involvement with the productions like this one is crucial for their growth and progress as future music industry professionals.” 

The three students involved with the concerts are Cody Kerns, a multidisciplinary studies major from Parkersburg; music industry master’s candidate Alexander Merandi from Morgantown; and freshman music industry major Chris Kuskey of Moundsville. 

“Working on the Sounds of Summer series offers fitting opportunities for each of us, although we all want to go in different directions in the music industry,” Kerns said. “For example, I want to go on the administrative, management and marketing route, while Alexander wants to work as a sound engineer and Chris wants to be a self-sufficient artist. Having an opportunity like this gives us a well-rounded knowledge base so that we know a little bit of everything when we get out in the industry.” 

The trio has worked on all the aspects of the seven concerts in the series, which started June 2. The remaining concerts are: 

July 9: Johnny Staats, Stewed Mulligan

July 21: The Morgantown Jazz Orchestra, Travis Riddle and the Bourbon Street Sound

August 27: Songs of Scott’s Run

September 10: WVU Wind Symphony

September 15: “Always…Patsy Cline,” a musical

September 22: WVU Jazz Band and World Music Ensemble

“In addition to having assisted with the programing, we also assist with the setting up of all of the live sound equipment, working with a local sound production company and learning how live sounds works as opposed to just working in the studio,” Kerns said. "This is important because the nature is that you'll be involved in all aspects of the Industry, studio recording, live music, publishing and more.”

The series is also sponsored by BOPARC, City of Morgantown, Monongalia County Commission and Coca-Cola.

“We invite people of all ages and backgrounds to come see these shows, because they’ll expose you to the regional music scene in Morgantown,” Kerns said. “These performances aren’t in a club, or geared toward college students. It’s quality entertainment for everyone.”

For full series information, visit the Sounds of Summer website.