Students ringed the Uptown Park Friday night, perched on the curb with legs sprawled and heads nodding to the music. A small throng of people watched and danced on the grass. Students and locals smiled as they passed on the streets, lingering to listen to the live music floating on the cool May air.
The free concert in Uptown Park was Roxford Music Fest and featured local musicians Corey Bush, RED samantha, LΔst Lights and Crossinova. The inaugural event was hosted by the Miami University Audio Engineering and Music Production (AEMP) organization. Sophomore Spencer Wood started the organization last year, and already it has worked with local artists to record their music and participate in campus events such as Battle of the Bands.
AEMP plans to host Roxford Music Fest annually, according to booking agent Julie Mullen, who deemed the concert a success.
“We had four great musicians and they all performed really well,” Mullen said. “The people who were there seemed to be having a great time. We plan to make the Roxford Music Fest an annual event. We hope that it will grow and get more bands and more fans.”
Singer and guitarist for RED samantha Joe Murray said the Friday concert was fun for him. RED samantha is a fairly new alternative rock band, so Roxford Music Fest was a good way to gain visibility on the MU campus.
“We’ve been playing together in that arrangement for just about a year, but we’ve been friends since kindergarten,” Murray said.
RED samantha likes to write music that speaks to issues many college students face.
“A lot of it is stuff that’s happened in the past that seems to be fitting for people in our age group,” Murray said. “Relationships, changes in lifestyle going from high school to college, dealing with being on your own and interpersonal relationships that either get stronger or fade away.”
RED samantha will be recording music this summer and playing near the University of Cincinnati (UC) May 10 and June 14 at The Mad Frog.
For Murray personally, a love of music was born far before RED samantha. Murray said his inspiration for playing music came from his father, who was in a rock band growing up. Now Murray cannot imagine life without music, he said.
“He learned how to play guitar when he was young and he taught me how to play,” Murray said. “I think it’s a big enough part of my life now to where I don’t think there will ever be a time it’ll be put on the shelf.”
Singer-songwriter Corey Bush, who also began playing music at a very young age, was another performer at the concert Friday night.
“Overall, I think it went really well,” Bush said. “I was glad to see a lot of people come out and support the artists.”
Bush played a mix of original songs and covers by artists such as Matchbox Twenty and Daughtry. Bush said Daughtry is one of several artists he looks up to as a musician.
“I really look up to the lead singer of Lifehouse Jason Wade. That’s probably the biggest influence,” Bush said. “And Daughtry. I love Chris Daughtry. They are big influences on my sound. I kind of learned from them.”
Bush will graduate from MU at the end of May. Moving forward, he said he hopes to gain more experience performing his music.
“My goals would probably be getting more experience playing in front of a live audience and getting as much exposure as possible,” Bush said. “I would love to get signed by a record label and form my own band.”
These local artists are only some of the many talented musicians in Oxford and surrounding areas: singer-songwriters, bands, DJs and more. As AEMP wraps up its first successful concert, students who enjoyed the live music Uptown will eagerly anticipate future shows featuring these and other artists.