Aspiring musicians on art of performance

Artists practice in friendly, easily accessible venue

Sam Everitt , Staff Reporter

Earl Walko playing a guitar.
Keaton Dixson Earl Walko performs an R&B song at the KSPU and Lingua Fall Party.

The sounds of junior Earl Walko’s R&B rhythms harmonizing with his mellow and moody vocals filled the Student Union Building. Students mingled with one another while others sat around creating a variety of arts and crafts, including necklaces and drawings. 

This was the environment of Lingua’s “Fall Hangout,” featuring KSPU, Friday, Nov. 22. 

Lingua, Seattle Pacific University’s arts journal, and KSPU, the university’s student-run radio station, started this event to create a space for artists to perform their music and for other artists around campus to connect. 

“We try to make a place where students can share their art and come together as a community of artists, whether it is visual art, written art or music,” senior Rachel Harris, Lingua’s business manager, said.

Lingua accomplished this goal by hosting a space brimming with artistic talent, but could also be inspired to create their own pieces.

Lingua provided tote bags to design and jewelry to create. Twine was used to string pink, blue and multicolored beads together along with names of students’ friends, their own names, or any other words that fit to their own creative purposes. 

Owen Sweeney plays on an electronic instrument.
Keaton Dixson Lingua’s Fall Party featured the artists Owen Sweeney, Earl Walko, Peter Knopf, and Claire Conway.

Colored pencils and drawing paper also lined the tables, which students used to draw. 

This event provided students a peaceful and meditative experience while engaged in creating their own pieces. 

To create an artistic ambiance for the event, Lingua invited musicians to perform live.

As expressed by Walko, music has the ability to communicate emotions and ideas that other  means may not provide. 

“Music can function as a means of communication that speaks to, and nourishes, a part of my soul that other means can’t,” Walko said, who goes by the stage name Betty Michaels.

Lingua’s Fall Hangout was also an important stepping stone for many of the musicians there, as it gave them a space to share their craft as others were sitting around tables making their own art.

“We give students on campus a venue and a platform to perform through — we are all trying to do the same thing, we are all trying to support the arts community at SPU,” senior Michael Miller, station manager for KSPU, said of student groups like Lingua and KSPU. 

Owen Sweeney playing an electronic musical instrument.
Keaton Dixson Owen Sweeney performs at the Lingua Fall Party.

Fall Hangout provided both the audience and a place for artists to demonstrate their talents, especially artists who may not have the experience or exposure to play in bigger venues.  

“This is my third time performing and I haven’t performed at any venues before, so this is practice. It’s nice to have a very welcoming, encouraging group of people,” Walko said.

Many of the artists use Lingua as a jumping-off point for their live acts. Performers can gain valuable stage time and experience on campus without the added costs of larger, public venues.

“For a lot of [artists] this is their first chance to be in front of people and get their music out there, so I think what [Lingua] does for them is give them that first step before they move on to whatever’s next,” Miller said.