Senior Olivia Zitkus brought more than just academic credits and new experiences back with her after a semester abroad at University College London. She also came back to UNC with the inspiration to start Carolina House Band.
Zitkus started CHB in the fall of 2019 under the umbrella of the Carolina Creates Music network, which she serves as head of development. Now in its second semester, the student organization invites musicians who play instruments from any genre to perform on campus and in the Chapel Hill community.
"We've got musicians who are classically trained, we've got classic rock guitarists and people who play more than one instrument,” Zitkus said. “The idea is that we'll eventually have enough different types of musicians and vocalists to be really flexible as to locations we're able to play, the genre of music we're able to play and also be able to challenge people to get out of their comfort zone.”
Zitkus said that CHB currently has a general body of around 20 students and an executive team of about 12. Zitkus said the house band is currently operating under the requirement that each student plays at least two of the organization’s gigs per semester. Executive members have more responsibility, and may also be in charge of leading groups or helping to organize events.
But CHB is hoping to grow during its second semester, Zitkus said. Having a larger organization would allow students to choose which performances they’d like to participate in, which would make the club a lighter commitment for those looking to join occasionally and play.