The University of New England's Premier Student News Publication

Nor'easter News

The University of New England's Premier Student News Publication

Nor'easter News

The University of New England's Premier Student News Publication

Nor'easter News

The Calm Amongst The Storm: UNE’s Student Band, Storm Surge

What does music mean to you? To Sophomore Shannon Callaghan, music is a source of connection between people that builds a community. It can bring people from different backgrounds to a common purpose: the making of music.
Flyer for Storm Surge’s Spring Concert. Provided by Shannon Callaghan.

At UNE, there’s a home for the community of music makers known as Storm Surge. This student-led club overseen by adjunct faculty member, Deirdre McClure, has been running since late October 2022. 

In talking about the reason for the resurgence of the band, Callaghan noted that a conversation between her and McClure is what ignited it. 

“I couldn’t find a different class to take for one of my explorations courses, so I was like, you know what? I’ll take music. I know it, I love it. I’ll do it. When we were in class together, she made everyone go around and talk about their music background. I mentioned that I played the clarinet for over 10 years, and played trombone for multiple years. I also played percussion for about six years. Her response to that was ‘Wow, you sound like you really love and miss it’ And I was like, Yeah, I do.”

From there came the reforming of the band. Callaghan and McClure reached out to a diverse number of students to find interested musicians. 

“I made a flyer and we got one or two people that were interested at first, but we ended up having six or seven people who came to our general interest meeting. And because of that, we got to become a club,” Callaghan smiled.

Storm Surge includes a blend of instruments ranging from trumpets, a saxophone, and a viola. Coming from different academic backgrounds also with STEM majors, Marine Sciences, and Animal Behavior. Despite any differences, the musicians find themselves connected with each other through playing and enjoying music. 

“It’s a very inclusive group. Everyone that joins becomes friends. They’re the type of people that whenever you see them, they’ll wave to you. And they always go out of their way to make other people feel comfortable. The community for it is huge. Some nights when we don’t rehearse, we’ll get together and watch a movie.”

The arrangements of music Storm Surge focuses on are mainly pop songs, due to their easily remembered tune and notes. For their upcoming concert, they will be playing three different songs, including “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. This concert will take place at 6:30 on May 5th, in the St.Francis room on Biddeford Campus. 

“I always have extra music for people. Also, our Instagram is pretty active about our meetings. What we’re doing, what we’re playing, and when our concerts are…just show up with your instrument, and the rest will work itself out.” 

Looking at next year, the band plans to increase the number of concerts they play. Right now, their ideas are to play two concerts during the fall semester, and one during the spring. Alongside more concerts, there is hope to expand the band with a Jazz ensemble. 

Students can expect to “jam out” with the band in these anticipated sessions, Callaghan said.

To learn more about joining the band, look for Storm Surge on GetInvolved, or email Shannon directly. Not only this, but Callaghan advises that students can also just show up and play. 

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