It is halfway through the week, and the new student center fills quickly as the lunchtime crowd filters in. Beneath the anxious noises of those eating and studying, a lively yet mellow sound can be heard echoing from a trumpet. The player is soon joined by a bass and drums, and the crowd turns to listen, distracted for a few minutes from their everyday worries.
Students will now be able to enjoy this live entertainment every other Wednesday from noon until 1 p.m. during Mizzou Lunchtime Talent, sponsored by the College Music Committee under the Department of Student Activities.
After a successful first trial on Wednesday, Aug. 25, featuring jazz group Mr. History, CMC Senior Chairwoman Katie Bickley, expressed confidence in the importance of the new series.
"Music runs people lives," Bickley said. "It's everywhere, and if I'm having a stressful day, music can be a de-stressor. It's important to students, and if we can provide it to them on campus than we've done our job."
Mizzou Lunchtime Talent, Bickley's idea-in-progress since last spring, will not only feature student musical talents, but comedians and actors as well.
Not only does Mizzou Lunchtime Talent provide entertainment, but it also allows gifted artists an opportunity to display their talent junior chairman of the CMC, Mike Blakey, said.
"(Lunchtime Talent) is a chance for students to showcase their music or talent," Blakey said. "It brings fun and music to the bookstore setting, and anybody who thinks they have talent can audition."
Seniors Phylshawn Johnson, Tom Fay and Isaac Foley and junior Annie Linders compose Mr. History, the jazz combo that serenaded students last Wednesday. The quartet agreed to play Lunchtime Talent due to Linders' connection with Bickley, Linders said.
"I was friends with Katie and had played some gigs already," Linders said. "And we always love playing jazz anywhere."
Several logistical factors caused some concern during the planning of Lunchtime Talent, such as noise control and the length of table turnover. Nevertheless, senior Trey Conklin, who came to support Fay in audience, deemed the event a success.
"I think the idea is pretty cool, playing during lunch," Conklin said. "It's nice for students to be able to listen to music while doing their homework or eating."
The CMC will also be working this year to increase student awareness of its activity, and improve upon their past achievements, Bickley said. Any student or group can audition by submitting a CD or video via a drop box in the New Student Center or by contacting Blakey through the Lunchtime Talent Facebook page.