Music

Cheatham Street Warehouse celebrates 40th year

Kent Finlay will never refer to Cheatham Street Warehouse as a bar. The music has always been the most important part of the venue, which celebrates its 40th year in San Marcos this June, Finlay said.

When Finlay and his partner Jim Cunningham opened Cheatham Street Warehouse in 1974, it was the first music venue of its kind in San Marcos. An outlet for local singer-songwriters to perform their latest pieces and gain a fan base, the venue drew attention early on thanks to small shows by then up-and-coming musicians including George Strait and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

“The focus was to promote local live music. That’s the mission we’ve stayed true to,” said Sage Allen, Cheatham Street Warehouse manager.  

Free concert series promotes environmental awareness

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Uniting the San Marcos and Texas State communities through art, music and sustainability, the Keep San Marcos Beautiful Spring Concert Series returned Thursday evening and will run through the second week of April.

The free annual event kicked off in San Marcos Plaza Park with a performance by ‘80s new wave group The Spazmatics. The concert series will feature a new musical act every Thursday in the park through April 10. The concert series promotes themes of sustainability and ecological conservation.

Q&A with members of Blue October

Blue October was in town for a special two-night performance last weekend on the heels of its latest album release. Frontman Justin Furstenfeld and bass player Matt Noveskey, San Marcos residents, spoke with The University Star about their new album “Sway,” a new tour and almost 20 years  of success in the music industry.

Community orchestra crescendos in its fifth year

After four decades the San Marcos Artists’ Retention and Training Orchestra is finally filling a long-standing void: creating San Marcos’s own community orchestra.

The nonprofit organization known as S.M.A.R.T. Orchestra was founded in 2009 by music educator Christopher Hanson. The ensemble began with a collection of string students from public schools and has since expanded to include both wind and string players of all ages. Approximately one-third of the group made up of adult musicians from the San Marcos area.

ZEALE: Valin Zamarron • musician • former student

Leaving behind a career in social media marketing and an unfinished advertising degree at Texas State, Valin Zamarron, known as ZEALE, has found success in the music industry. With a Red Bull sponsorship, a song in the trailer for one of the year’s most anticipated comedy movies and a tour opening for industry heavyweights, ZEALE is on the rise.

EM: How and when did your music career start?
Z:  I started back in high school writing poetry and doing things of that sort. I started writing, performing and creating my freshman year at Texas State. The music that I made at those early stages was very different from what I make today, but it definitely was a predecessor to my present path in music.

Q&A with Roger Sellers

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Shaped by fond memories of his time as a student musician, Texas State alumnus Roger Sellers prepares for a nationwide tour, new album and performing at Fun Fun Fun Fest.

AR: How did your time at Texas State and in San Marcos shape you and your music?
RS: My time in San Marcos definitely shaped me in a big way. A lot of people that I met there made a big impact on me. I studied music at Texas State. It’s really when I started to take myself and my music seriously. I liked taking classes on things that I felt so strongly about. To this day, San Marcos is one of my favorite places to play because it was so important to my development as a musician. The people here are just genuine and unique.

San Marcos band Steve-n-Steve discuss music, inspiration

Inspiration for a popular song by the San Marcos-based group the Steve-n-Steve Band came in the form of a female fan who approached one of the band’s members, Steve Majors, at Sewell Park.
Majors said the fan asked him if she could be his “intergalactic girl.”

The title stuck with Majors, vocalist, primary songwriter and keyboardist of the group,  and Steve Womble, fellow band member and guitarist. The pair are no strangers to the extraterrestrial, having collaborated on the song “Stargazer,” written about the time Majors saw a UFO.

“We’re almost like one thing. We’re on the same page,” Majors said.

Piano festival, national radio show hosted at Texas State

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Musicians from around the world gathered in San Marcos June 1-9 to both perform and learn about their art as part of the Texas State International Piano Festival.

The festival was sponsored by KMFA and TPR, classical radio stations located in Austin and San Antonio respectively, said Jason Kwak, associate professor in the School of Music.

“This is a way to attract really great talent from around the world,” Kwak said. “Recruiting was a part of starting this event, but more than that we wanted something really big and eventful for the culture and community of San Marcos.”

Dance and choral ensembles combine for performance

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Texas State students, staff and alumni will collaborate for a unique combination of performances in an upcoming weekend event.  

The ensemble will feature live music by the Texas State Chorale and dancing by the university’s Merge Dance Company, as well as the The Shay Ishii Dance Company.

Shay Ishii, coordinator of theatre and dance publicity, is the choreographer for both dance companies and designed their costumes.

In several pieces, dancers will be moving in and out of the choir with both groups on stage.

Q&A with Rachel Reinert, vocalist for country band Gloriana

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The country band Gloriana will be playing April 18 at Riverfest, a large music festival put on by the Student Association for Campus Activities. The band is comprised of guitarists Tom Gossin and Mike Gossin, mandolin player Cheyenne Kimball and lead vocalist Rachel Reinert.

The University Star spoke with Reinert about the band and its upcoming performance. 

FR: What songs will you be playing at Riverfest?

RR: You know, I don’t really know yet. Usually we just choose our set list the day of, and it depends on what the venue’s like and what we’re feeling. But we’ll definitely be playing a lot of covers, a lot of songs from the new record and some songs from our first record as well.

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