“We’re ghosts,” Amanda told me near the end of our interview—and the more I learned about her group, the Wesleyan Sound Cooperative (WSC), the more I thought she might be right.
I’d never heard of the WSC before being asked to write this article, and most students I spoke to hadn’t heard of it either. The majority of people who have attended a concert at the University in recent years, however, most likely have unknowingly heard the group—or at any rate, heard their equipment.
“[We provide] student sound engineers to run sound for concerts, senior theses, dance performances…mostly for concerts, though,” said Amanda, the WSC representative I contacted.
Since the group has had much success in maintaining old members and recruiting new ones, Amanda asked that her last name be withheld from this article so that the group can avoid being overwhelmed with e-mails from students interested in working for the WSC.
The WSC, a student-run organization, provides speakers, microphones, mixers and more to campus groups looking to put on musical performances. Despite the group’s relative campus invisibility, its been doing this job successfully for a long time. Although there is no written history of the WSC, Amanda estimates that it has been around since the 1980’s.
Over the years, those in the know in the University music scene have learned to turn to the WSC as a reliable and professional source of equipment. Lately the co-ops members have been running about six shows a week, depending on the time of year.
“Obviously right now things are pretty slow, because people don’t plan anything over the summer, and it’s hard to get funding…it will probably pick up in the next three or four weeks,” Amanda said. “We do a lot of shows near the end of the year, especially during WesFest last year.”
Even so, groups are already registered on the WSC’s public calendar. For example, performances occurring on September 18th alone include the Cajun Dance with Balfa Toujours, a rock show called Feedbacq Attaq with Shaqqq and a WestCo Dance Party.
Having just transitioned into knew leadership, Amanda and the rest of the WSC are looking forward to an exciting, and busy, year.
“The guy that ran [the WSC] last year, Yale Yng-Wong ’09, was awesome and got us all new equipment, so we have awesome new equipment now…I think it’s a learning process as to what we need to have, what we’re getting, what we’re capable of getting.”