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Food-lovers and French friends host music over mocktails

Levi Magill
GWARC, French House, Freesound and the Concerts Committee teamed up for a night of music and mocktails!

Familiar faces, French-inspired fake cocktails and funky tunes all came together this past Saturday at French House during an event titled Musique à la Maison. Grinnellians Who Are Ready to Cook (GWARC) House collaborated with the language house for a night of mocktails and live music, which Maddie Church `27, Frannie Crego `25 and Spin the Clouds provided.

With a joint audience of students and Family Weekend visitors who attended the event, student musicians provided a melodic atmosphere. Freesound and the Student Government Association’s concerts committee helped with equipment and sound mixing while attendees sipped their red solo cups of themed mocktails. 

Dayana Garcia `26, French House coordinator, said that she wanted to introduce the language house to more people with a campus-wide event. After she spoke with GWARC House residents, the idea for mocktails was set. 

Garcia, who worked to plan Musique à la Maison, said that she thinks events like this are necessary “because we’re all doing so much all of the time that it’s so much nicer if we can get together to make something that’s fun for everyone rather than putting all the pressure on ourselves.” 

She thought of live music after speaking with friends and housemates who often perform in the student music scene. As a frequent concert goer herself, Garcia said that the occasion ended up being a beautiful day to sit out on the lawn and listen to the student artists. “One of the things I loved coming to Grinnell is Grinnellian music. Grinnellian musicians are so passionate about what they do, and so I would love to give them a space to do it,” she said. 

While French House provided the strawberry lemonade spritzers, GWARC House contributed grenadine sunsets, cranberry spritz and diabolos as featured beverages. Their house coordinator, Bella Villarreal `26, said that as a project house in their first full year, they are trying to figure out what exactly they want their presence to be on campus. One idea that appealed to them was bringing food to events on campus, specifically with allergy-friendly options. 

“I do think that is a valuable service that we could provide — bringing food to events that otherwise wouldn’t have them,” said Villarreal in reference to the difficulty that may come with planning an event. Creating spaces that welcome people who have allergies is especially important to Villarreal as she cannot eat in the campus Dining Hall due to her own severe food allergy. “It’s something that you don’t think about as much until you can’t participate. It’s that there’s really a lot of community centered around communal eating.”

Student musicians rounded out the evening’s festivities. Spin the Clouds opened by performing covers and two original songs. As the sun fully set, the band played their indie-rock set with the incoming night sky of stars in the backdrop. Two stands of multi-colored lights framed keyboardist Collin Thomas-Green `26, drummer Evan Hein `26, guitarist Oliver Wolfe `25 and bassist and vocalist Elizabeth Clarkson `25. 

Church and Crego followed with a set of covered songs from musicians such as Joni Mitchell and Phoebe Bridgers. They both draw inspiration from bluegrass music, which led both of them to perform in the Grinnell bluegrass band. They both sang and took turns strumming an acoustic guitar, and Church played the violin. One cover they performed was fitting for the event’s French theme —  “Les Feuilles Mortes,” “The Dead Leaves,” by Joseph Kosma and Jacques Prévert. 

From left: performers Frannie Crego `25 and Maddie Church `27 (Levi Magill)

Church said that as soon as they arrived on campus, their number-one goal was finding the music community and making a place within it. “Music performance is not just about performing for people, but with people. It’s a shared experience,” they said. According to them, Musique à la Maison’s concept of collaboration between several student organizations was smart. 

“I think any good event has ambiance, good food or drinks — the mocktails — and good music,” said Church. “The fourth thing is obviously good people, but all of those first three things bring good people.” 

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About the Contributors
Krista Spies, Staff Writer
Krista Spies is a fourth-year English and Spanish major from St. Louis, MO. She loves writing about the arts almost as much as getting tattooed, and she hopes to turn going to concerts into a full-time job.
Levi Magill, Visuals Editor
I am a third-year philosophy major from Chicago, but when I'm not reading philosophy I like to watch classic movies, skate around town with my camera, ride my motorcycle, or listen to old records.
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