Queen’s Music Club to host socially-distanced jam session after Thanksgiving

Co-presidents talk adapting to pandemic restrictions

In response to COVID-19, the Queen’s Music Club has moved their meetings to Discord.  

In past years, Queen’s Music Club (QMC) hosted weekly jam sessions at MacGillivray-Brown Hall, but COVID-19 has put those plans on hold.

The Journal spoke to QMC co-presidents Joshua Neizer, CompSci ’22, and Marissa Battle, ArtSci ’22, about how COVID-19 is impacting their operations this year and what they’re doing to keep the club alive.  

As former exec members of QMC, Neizer and Battle were excited to take up the mantle of co-presidents, but they never expected to be doing so during a global pandemic.

“The way we’re looking at QMC this year is more of a community of people […] more than just a specific club,” Neizer said.

“Last year, we focused a lot on our jams…on concert meet-ups, and other socials that we did,” he added. “That was the bread and butter of our club and what really sustained us. However, because of COVID this year, we haven’t been able to do any of that.”

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Without access to their room in Mac-Brown and with no concerts happening this year, QMC could’ve become dead in the water. Instead, Neizer and Battle are taking the opportunity to reimagine what the club can be.

For example, they’ve set up a Discord server for the club, an online video chat platform similar to Skype or Zoom, which has become a marketplace for students to buy and sell equipment, trade tips, and discuss their favourite music genres.

According to Neizer, seeing the members’ passion for music has inspired him to continue QMC’s legacy through these challenging times. In that vein, the two co-presidents are planning an outdoor acoustic jam session the week after Thanksgiving.

“The way we’re picturing it is to be socially-distanced with masks on, and it’ll be in either my backyard or [Victoria] park,” Neizer said. “We shouldn’t get any noise complaints […] unless people are hitting the guitar and hitting the bongos super hard.”

While Neizer and Battle are looking forward to the event, they expressed some disappointment about not being able to host regular meet-ups like QMC normally would.

“It’s definitely a little disappointing and a bit frustrating in the way that there’s nothing we can do when it comes to accessing our room,” said Neizer. “However, it’s also helped me realize the purpose of the club and why people come to the club in the first place.”

Battle also expressed disappointment over the restrictions, but she said they’re doing their best to achieve the club’s goals.

“Moving forward as a president, [I wanted] to rewrite what the general assumption of Queen’s Music Club is,” said Battle.

She explained new and potential members often feel they don’t belong if they don’t know enough about music or don’t know how to play an instrument, but she wants anyone with a passion for music to feel welcome at QMC.

“It’s literally just a place for people who love music to come together and have an amazing time,” she said.

“[COVID-19] was able to show us that we do have these other resources,” Battle added. “We’ve been working all together and coming up with some good ideas for how we can manage the situation and try to give everyone the best QMC 2020 Fall as we can.”

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