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Senior musicians end college on a high note at BUMP show

Graduating is the end of a music career for some students, but it's the beginning for others

On Saturday night, Binghamton Underground Music Presents (BUMP) put on its second student showcase this year. A concert consisting solely of graduating seniors, this was the last BUMP show for many musicians who made their mark playing shows as undergraduates.

Tycho McManus/Staff Photographer

“I’m sad that all of these great student musicians are graduating,” said Allison Drexler, BUMP co-chair and a junior double-majoring in art history and political science. “I’ll definitely miss seeing them perform.”

On-campus shows have given musicians like singer-songwriter Christine Spilka, a senior majoring in chemistry, a platform to grow as a performer. Her band, The Jean Jackets, opened for Titus Andronicus her freshman year.

“In terms of my confidence and songwriting abilities, I have grown so much that it feels really nice looking back,” Spilka said. “That BUMP show definitely solidified the fact that we could still be making music and play shows even though we were attending different schools.”

Students like Ian Miller, a senior majoring in art history who played a DJ set, appreciate a music community that is welcoming to all students.

“Music is such a unique art form, and it’s so universal. Even someone who wouldn’t speak a word of English could walk into this show right now and have a blast,” Miller said.

Singer-guitarist Mike Shapiro, a senior majoring in electrical engineering, looked back fondly on his time playing shows in Binghamton.

“The thing I’ll miss most is being able to jam and create music with so many talented people at Binghamton University,” Shapiro said. “Especially over the last two years, I feel that the music community here has become much closer and supportive of each other’s material.”

What’s next for these musicians? The answers vary depending on their priorities and goals.

“I’m going to play some gigs in the summer, then after that learn French because most likely I’ll be going to perfumery school in France for two years,” Spilka said.

Likewise, Shapiro sees music in his future.

“I’ll definitely keep making music in the future. I’m hoping to move next year to Boston and see what the weather’s like over there,” he said.

Miller similarly faces the reality of graduating.

“I’m really just trying to figure out what it’s like to be an adult — I’ve been a student since I was 6 years old,” he said.

With so many core musicians leaving BU’s music scene, the future is unclear, but Drexler is hopeful.

“I will miss the bands that are graduating, but the number of student bands on campus continues to grow each year. I know there are great student musicians out there that we haven’t found out about yet, so I’m not worried about the numbers dwindling,” Drexler said.