RAy Band Plays for Children at Off-Campus Tutoring Site
Those who know me know that a big part of my life and time here at Bucknell is spent at an off-campus tutoring site. Typically, we help the kids out with homework and then spend the rest of the time hanging out, playing games, stuff like that. This past Thursday, however, we had a special event planned for the little ones.
We contacted a group of musicians known as RAy Band (the name is explained in the following interview with lead vocalist Tricia Collins (’14)). The band of Bucknell musicians happily agreed to put on a small show for the kids free of charge. RAy Band did their best to appeal to the kids’ requests, but you can only do so much as an acoustic band when the number one requested songs are “Timber” and “Superbass.” Despite the abundance of hip/hop and pop song requests, RAy Band kept the kids up and dancing/singing the whole time!
RAy Band playing at the off-campus site is a perfect example of how influential the Bucknell music scene can be in the surrounding areas. I was lucky enough to have Tricia Collins (’14) of RAy Band to answer a few questions of mine about the performance!
Zac: Who is RAy Band, and how did it come into fruition?
Tricia: RAy Band includes Tricia Collins (vocals, some guitar), Tyler Bogaczyk (’15) (guitar), and Raffi Barberian (’14) (bass). It all started in RA training as a joke when Tyler and Raffi found out each other's musical talents and wanted to jam. Then word spread as a joke that they were starting a band. Tricia asked to join and it became a real thing after several jam sessions of collaborating musical talents. The name is a play on words to mock the brand of sunglasses, 'Ray Bucknell, and the fact that we are all RAs.
Zac: How did you and your band mates get this specific gig?
Tricia: The way we got this specific gig was through networking. Another RA, Thuyvann Luu who works with the civic engagement office knew us and asked us to play for the kids considering that week was music appreciation week. All we did was meet with Jess who is in charge of the program to go over specifics and we were booked!
Zac: What are some events that you have played at in the past?
Tricia: In the past we have played a variety of music for the outdoor block party hosted by Smith and Small Houses and we also played more mellow acoustic stuff in the background of the national honor society for first year Bucknell Students. We are always looking for an excuse to escape from the stresses of school to get together and play music so if anyone would like to book us, we would love if someone would reach out.
Zac: How was it playing for a younger audience than usual? Did this affect your song choices?
Tricia: We were warned that these kids were going to be super excited for us to come and play but when I got there, it was crazier than I expected. The kids were jumping up and down so much as if they ate a bowl of sugar for breakfast! It was a lot different playing for this audience because we didn't know what kind of music their generation liked. We usually like classic songs from the 80's 90's and a few pop hits from today but we had to learn new songs the night before just to appeal to the kids. Therefore, we played “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, “Let it Go” from the movie Frozen, “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers, and “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. They loved “Let it Go.” When we announced that we were going to do that song next, they all screamed and stood in front of us as if they were the performers. It was difficult for me as the singer because my voice couldn't project over the kids screaming the words. When we were done with our 4 songs, they immediately asked for an encore which we did not prepare. They kept requesting songs from us like we were a jukebox or something. They wanted all these songs which seemed inappropriate for kids but were popular on the radio like “Talk Dirty”, “Wrecking Ball,” and “Superbass.” All the songs they wanted weren't meant for simple instruments like we play. We played “Brown Eyed Girl” because that is a fun upbeat song we all knew off the top of our heads but the kids didn't know that song. It was funny because only the Bucknell Student Tutors were the only ones who sang along with us that time. Overall, the kids loved it! They all were fascinated by our instruments and gave us big hugs. Each of us in the band left with super big smiles! We don't get paid for doing gigs like this because performing and the awesome feedback we get gives us enough joy and satisfaction.
I think all of us at Campus Vinyl BucknellU couldn’t agree more! A true passion for music isn’t motivated by money, but rather by the happiness it brings to ourselves and those around us.