When you're considering a university, it's important to factor in the school's environment.
Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World, and there are always opportunities to explore different sounds, cultures, and events. Whether you're enjoying a concert right outside your residence hall or listening to your favorite band at SXSW, this unique city will keep you busy with new, exciting experiences.
You never have an excuse to be bored.
There’s nothing wrong with hitting shuffle on your favorite Spotify playlist, but that doesn’t offer the same energy as going to a live show. St. Edward’s is just three miles from downtown Austin, where there are dozens of live shows every night.
Insider tip: You can stay up-to-date with daily listings on Do512, an Austin events website. I highly recommend following Heard Presents and C3 Concerts on social media. They’re two of Austin’s largest booking agencies for venues and announce shows on their accounts.
There are cool opportunities to volunteer and intern.
As a sophomore, I’m looking for exposure to my chosen industry to make myself standout. Austin hosts several music and arts festivals each year, so there’s opportunity to intern or volunteer at world-famous festivals, such as SXSW, ACL, Float Fest and Levitation. It’s a great way to build your resume, and not many other college towns have that kind of access. Want something more in your niche? Austin also houses the Austin Film Festival and Austin Music Video Festival.
There are free and fun experiences everywhere.
Let’s face it. The joke that college students live on ramen noodles exists for a reason — money is usually tight. But there are always free shows and events in Austin. Some are even on-campus at Blues on the Hilltop. But if you want to venture farther afield, consider Blues on the Green and The Pecan Street Festival. SXSW also features countless free shows if you know where to look. You can check out Do512’s free section where they list free events every day of the week.
Want to play?
St. Edward’s boasts their own music minor (and talented faculty). With several jazz ensembles, a mariachi ensemble, an orchestra, choral groups, and guitar ensembles, you’re bound to find a new home to practice and have fun. My jazz band professor, Joey Colarusso, often finishes our rehearsals and immediately leaves for gigs at Austin’s most renowned jazz clubs. He has played alongside Kenny Rogers, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, and Frank Sinatra Jr. to name a few.
You’ll be exposed to different ideas, cultures and tastes.
Austin might be the only city where you can hear Latin funk, punk rock, death metal, alternative, and hip-hop music on just one block. You can listen to your all-time favorites one night and hear something new the next. Austin’s Red River District has more than a dozen music venues packed between three city blocks. Show up early enough, and you’re within arms reach of the band. Stay late enough, and you’re able to chat with the band and take a picture.
There’s something for everyone in Austin, especially music. Being born and raised here, I may be a little biased. However, the music scene is one of the many facets of this city that keep drawing me in closer. I’m confident that you’ll find your own unique reason to call the Live Music Capital of the World “home”.
By Alek Nybro, '20
Alek is a Digital Media Management major and a trumpet player in the campus jazz band. "My dream job is working at Spotify for Brands to help businesses solidify their image and reach their audience through music, and I’m working toward that goal by attending St. Edward’s University. I hope you enjoyed some of my favorite aspects of living and learning in the Live Music Capital of the World."