Songs from movies such as “The Lion King” and “Tarzan” got students grooving as they filled the dense “jungle” of Rediger Auditorium on Saturday night, led by fearless hosts and trailblazers senior Patrick Warren and junior Max Urban. The “Welcome to the Jungle” My Generation Night 2019 theme was in full swing as tropical trees, hanging vines and jungle animals greeted attendees from Taylor and the surrounding community.
MyGen, a concert and Taylor tradition featuring student bands and soloists from all years and majors, focuses primarily on songs released from when the senior class was born and onward. Saturday night’s set included hits from boy bands such as One Direction and The Jonas Brothers, soloists like Sam Smith and Jon Bellion, and even a show tune from the musical “Waitress,” among several other catchy covers.
Student band Flannels and Flapjacks covered “Someone You Loved” by Lewis Capaldi.
Junior Silas Vinson, lead vocalist for Flannels and Flapjacks, has performed in MyGen three times. Accompanying Vinson, Flannels and Flapjacks consists of senior Josh Bontrager on piano, junior Nathan Rohwer on percussion, senior Sam Skinner and junior Tim Hudson on cello, and sophomore Luke Sorrell on viola. There has been some variations in members every year when certain members study abroad or have other commitments.
“We put a lot of time into it and thought it all came together really well,” Vinson said. “We kind of did a little practice run-through before the show started and we were like, ‘if we do it like that, we’ll be happy.’ And we all felt like we did even better, so we were really thrilled with how it turned out and the reception we got from it.”
Vinson added that he felt all the bands did an amazing job and thought each act sounded better than they did in rehearsals the night before.
Vinson appreciates that MyGen gives students opportunities to perform that they may not otherwise have, as very few of the performers are music majors. He likes seeing students from a variety of majors and social groups come together to share their talents. He encourages anyone who is thinking about participating in MyGen to try it and see what happens, whether by auditioning for a show or being involved in the Student Activities Council (SAC) who plans and runs the event.
“It’s a group effort from everyone involved,” Vinson said. “The performances don’t always show the effort put into it from every individual person, and a lot of people tend to remember the singers or a crazy soloist someone has, but everyone who’s a part of it puts a lot of work into it, as does SAC, so huge thanks to them.”
Senior Carlee Svec, president of SAC, was one of the many students who made MyGen possible. One of her favorite parts of the preparation process for MyGen was picking the theme with the rest of the cabinet.
This year they used a collaborative processes where each cabinet member pitched three theme ideas to the rest of the cabinet. They also took suggestions from their Instagram audience to gather ideas, which was a defining factor in choosing the “Welcome to the Jungle” theme for 2019.
On top of choosing the theme and making decorations to set the tone of the event, marketing played a significant part in the event’s success. Svec worked with senior Chloe Thompson to come up with the design of the Jeep in the jungle and Thompson created the color scheme and designed most @taylorstudentorg social media posts.
“I think MyGen is something that is uniquely Taylor,” Svec said. “Where else can you ask almost 1,000 people to gather to watch their peers perform? It demonstrates the support we have for our friends in music and creates an outlet for our many musically talented people on campus. It also reaches out into the Upland community because it’s current, live music. It’s appealing for professors, students and kids, which follows TSO’s mission of bringing people together!”
The SAC cabinet, marketing team and band members were pleased with the outcome and encouraged by the audience participation.
Freshman Emily Van Veld was impressed with her first MyGen and left with a smile on her face.
“It was so fun — I did not expect all the comedy involved,” Van Veld said. “I loved all the talent there and all the commercials were super fun to watch.”