English Fest presents music week
“Textallica: Ride the Writing” is not only a spoof off the 1984 Metallica CD, “Ride the Lightning,” but it also is the quasi-theme of the music portion to the ninth annual UW-Eau Claire English Festival.
Senior Max Neal, the music committee chair, said Metallica is only half the theme and the entire fest isn’t just based on that.
“It’s not like the whole theme,” he said. “I think two days on Metallica lyrics would be pretty monotonous. It’s not the only thing we’re focusing on, but it’s just nice to have a catchy title that people will remember.”
|“It’s just nice to have a catchy title that people will remember.”
Senior, on the English Festival’s “Textallica” theme
Neal said the main goal for the fest is to pursue, present and appreciate all areas of the language arts.
He said the fest is completely student-run and is one of the largest language art festivals in the country.
The idea to have a Metallica theme came from Neal and his fellow music committee co-workers.
He said they always try to come up with a catchy title to the fest to bring interest to students.
The reason for the fest is not only to bring interest in from students, but is also a chance for English majors to present their capstone projects.
“All the English majors that are giving capstones right now were asked to present at the fest,” Neal said. “And not to just read off a piece of paper, but give it in a presentation format instead of paper format.”
People other than English majors will be presenting as well.
“You don’t have to be an English major to participate,” Neal said. “(For example,) if you’re really into comic books and want to do something about how a comic book is like Shakespeare, and can talk for an hour about it, then go for it.”
Senior Bobby Kuechenmeister, the lead organizer of the fest, said the English department has been trying to branch out of the English major and get other types of majors to present.
“The English Festival strives to reflect an interdisciplinary understanding of English as a subject,” Kuechenmeister said. “Our efforts include recruiting presentations from other departments, such as history or music and theatre arts and then combining them with an established core of English capstone students.”
Another aspect seperating this fest from past fests is the efforts taken to branch out into the community to get a bigger audience.
“Beginning this year, we approached local businesses to purchase ad space and had great success,” Kuechenmeister said. “We also have a travel committee devoted to taking some of our presentations on tour around the area schools.ÿSo far, three of our panels will be visiting South Middle School.”
The music events kick off this weekend, and this year the fest has scheduled multiple bands to play both on campus and off.
The music will be a range of various musicians and bands from all over the Midwest area, including some local Eau Claire bands as well.
Neal said many of the bands that will be performing were asked to play Metallica covers to tie in to the theme.
Other than the many different music performances, there are a variety of speakers and panels students can attend.
The activities include panels on music, movies, video games and poetry. There will be an appearance by Ron Marz, former DC comic writer and writer of the “Green Lantern” series, to start off the fest on May 4.
Kuechenmeister said having Marz as the keynote speaker will be the most amazing aspect separating this year’s fest from all others.
“Marz will be giving an address about being a comic book author, working in the comics industry, and writing ‘Green Lantern,’ ” Kuechenmeister said. “The following day he is offering a writing workshop about writing comics.”
Overall, Neal expects the fest to be a big success.
“With all the bands we have lined up,” Neal said, “it should be a really good time.”