The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday January 29th

Listserv Is Music to Student's Ears

But there was one problem for this guitarist: He didn't know where to find jamming partners.

Gresham, a sophomore interdisciplinary studies major -- a combination of music, folklore and creative writing -- was not about to let his passion for music dwindle in a town surrounded by local bands and performance gigs.

In October, wanting to help other musicians who shared his predicament, Gresham created the Musician Ring, a listserv for University students interested in all aspects of music.

And now Gresham is organizing a concert for February featuring bands who are members of the Musician Ring.

"(The ring) is a network for musicians to meet each other and know who's out there," he said. "It's to encourage collaboration for any instrument, any genre, anyone interested in music."

Gresham sat in the Pit for a week advertising the ring, sent e-mails to UNC band members and hyped up the listserv in his classes.

And he is more than pleased with the turnout of 167 members.

"The response has been wonderful. It turned out as well as I hoped," he said.

The ring serves as a relay among musicians hoping to find an addition to a band, advertise equipment for sale or promote music shows.

Music lovers can join by signing up at http://musicianring.homepage.com.

The ring has enabled Gresham to meet dozens of musicians, satisfying another of his goals. "I meet more bands now. (The ring) gives me a good excuse to talk to people because I can ask them if they're in the ring," he said.

Jay Cartwright, Musician Ring member, sees the listserv as a service that can replace fliers or want ads posted all over town.

Cartwright has found Gresham's brainchild quickens the process of finding band members. "It really does help musicians out," he said.

Coming from Wilkesboro, Gresham chose UNC because of the live music scene. He hones his talents by strumming his guitar in the quad and playing in the band Good Lunar Aspect.

Gresham's love for music began when he picked up guitar lessons in high school. "I was just immediately passionate about it," he said.

The banjo, mandolin, piano, drums and bass followed.

Thirty Pieces of Silver was Gresham's high school band. They played at an Italian restaurant (which he said took a lot of convincing) and anywhere else they got a chance.

Gresham's passions are not limited to music as attending plays and creative writing also fill his time. "Performance in general is very interesting," he said.

Because of his fascination with performance, Gresham thought up the Musician Ring Music Festival, a free night of nearly 20 Musician Ring bands.

Scheduled for Feb. 24 in the Student Union Cabaret, the night will feature different genres of music. "It's going to be fantastic," he said.

Gresham hopes to keep the listserv running until after he graduates. And when he does, he knows music will always be a part of his life.

He said, "I'd like to build instruments at this point and travel. I'd really just like to do everything."

The Features Editor can be reached at features@unc.edu.

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