MACKENZIE KINTIGH; Arts & Culture Editor;

Music has significant sentimental value at Pacific Lutheran University. From the highly renowned Choir of the West to extracurricular groups like PLUtonic & HERmonic, music is an essential part of PLU culture.

Music is something that is constantly affecting our lives. People often listen to music when they’re working out or working on homework, or go to concerts when they get a chance to see their favorite artist when they’re on tour.

I have cherished music since I was a child. I often recall belting my heart out on the car ride home from school, or when I went to my first concert. Singing along to musical theater hits is still a common occurrence in my household.

As of recently, I have begun to appreciate different types of music. From alternative to pop music, I love understanding what goes into making music and how artists create songs. I have come a long way since my Jonas Brothers days.

“Music to me means so many things, but I think the biggest two are a way for people to share their ideas and feelings through a very unique and creative medium.”

-Ian Lindharsten, junior

Senior Leah Mellmer is another avid music lover and listens  whenever she gets a chance, which happens to be 13 hours a day according to her calculations. Leah works with Lute Air Student Radio (LASR) as the general manager. By working with LASR, Mellmer showcases her love for music to the PLU community.

“I listen to a lot of ‘60s and ‘70s [music] because I grew up listening to that,” Mellmer said. “It wasn’t really the music that was from my era at the time.”

One of the concerts Mellmer recently went to was a band that she never thought she would see in her lifetime.

Kintigh attended Summer Camp Music Festival at Marymoor Park in 2017.

The Clientele is an English band that formed in 1991. This particular band is one of Mellmer’s favorites. Mellmer said that she was able to meet all the members of the band and reminisce about the experience.

“I cried, honestly, after the show,” Mellmer said. “They haven’t played here in while. They’re from England and they were on a seven year hiatus.”

Senior Shawn Torrey is the Public Relations director for LASR, and he enjoys listening to some of his favorite music in his free time.

“Music means everything to me. Music has given me opportunities that I thought I would never have,” Torrey said. “Listening to and performing music has made me confident in myself and has given me a unique sense of the world.”

Junior Ian Lindhartsen is the music director for LASR, and he also enjoys discovering as much music as he can. One of Lindhartsen’s favorite shows he has been to was when he went to Dallas and saw the kaiju-themed surf rock band Daikaiju. Music, to Lindhartsen, helped establish a representation of culture and self-identity.

“Music to me means so many things, but I think the biggest two are a way for people to share their ideas and feelings through a very unique and creative medium,” Lindhartsen said. “Due to that, a way to build connections that vary from the connections between members of a band to entire communities and cultures.”

According to “5 Ways Music Improves Our Health” from HuffPost, music can help reduce anxiety-induced increases in heart rate and systolic blood pressure and decrease cortisol levels. It brings a sort of calming effect to the mind and body.

A study from Deakin University in Victoria, Australia reports that those who are strongly are engaged in dancing or attending concerts are reported to be happier.

“Listening to and performing music has made me confident in myself and has given me a unique sense of the world.”

-Shawn Torrey, senior

“It’s that active engagement that seems to be critical,” Melissa Weinberg, co-author of the Deakin University’s study,  said. “People who intentionally interact with music, they’re using an outlet to express their emotions.”

My experience with music is different from the next person’s. However, being engaged in music, I have found a way to connect with the world. This year I’ve met artists whether it is waiting in the merch line to meet them or staying a little bit longer after the show.

One of my favorite experiences from going to a concert was when I actually got to meet my beloved DJs at The End’s Summer Camp. Alyssa Page, one of my favorite DJs in the world, recognized me when I came up to her for a picture.

Halsey performed at Key Arena in Seattle, WA on her Fountain Kingdom Tour.

“You’re Kenzie from Twitter,” she said when I introduced myself. These are the kind of moments that give me a greater appreciation for music and the connections I’ve made.

Music is not often thought of as a ritual. However when someone looks at it with a closer lens, people can see the underlying structures of a ritual, like Mellmer’s love for The Clientele, Torrey’s passion for grunge music or even Lindhartsen’s curiosity for discovering new music.

For myself, every connection with music has been positive, whether it was talking with a friend over coffee about our passion for music or talking to a complete stranger in line for a show. Music has this way of forming relationships that cannot be described. It has be felt through the music. ◼︎

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Mackenzie Kintigh

Mackenzie Kintigh, class of 2018, is the Mast Arts and Culture Editor. She is working for The Mast because she has a passion for journalism and showcasing the amazing work, both academic and extracurricular, of students and faculty to the PLU campus.