by: MATT MOLINAR/Opinion Editor
Students come together to showcase their talents and pursue their musical dreams through Alterna TV.
At the beginning of every semester, spots for many different bands in the commercial music program open up for aspiring musicians at SPC. These bands include a variety of genres, such as rock, country, pop, and British invasion.
“Alterna TV is the audition-level rock band,” said Sonny Borba, director of Alterna TV and instructor of commercial music. “Most of the ensembles don’t require you to audition, but there are a handful of ensembles that we hold auditions for. They are the ones that we take out and show off if we want to do any kind of marketing.”
Members of Alterna TV include: Jonathan Cristan on drums; Sonny Borba on bass; Davis Draughon on guitar; Moses Chaisouang on guitar; Olivia McClain, Chase Gibson, Kyndra Vaught, and Isreal Gonzales on vocals.
“Most of our performances are here, in the Tom T. Hall Production Studio,” Borba said. “But we do have outside events that we play every semester. We have three live televised rock concerts that we put on.”
Alterna TV is broadcasted on the local NTS cable TV network, as well as live-streamed on livestream.com. An archive of past performances by Alterna TV is available on livestream.com/spccreativearts.
“The live rock shows are pretty fun,” Borba said. “It’s a high-energy rock show with moving lights, fog, loud guitars. I mean we’re playing stuff from Pierce the Veil, Tool, and Buried in Me.”
The next, and last, show of the semester that Alterna TV will perform will be at 9 p.m. on Dec. 3 during an event called “Fest Week.”
“At the end of every semester, we have what we call ‘Fest Week’,” Borba said. “Fest Week is where every ensemble gets to come out on a certain night of the week and give their last concert before the semester ends. We’ll have a full night of rock bands, another night of country bands. Alterna TV will play on Thursday in what we call “Thursday Night Showcase,” which is the final night of the week.”
Auditions for bands, according to Borba, are usually held on either the second or third day of class. Students wishing to audition for any of the bands are required to perform for directors, who pick the new members of the band.
“We just have to get an idea of where they are musically,” says Borba. “Instrumentalists have to play something for us that they feel shows off their talent. Then we ask them a few questions about maybe how to play certain chords, or if we play this chord progression, can they play a solo on top of it? As a vocalist, you not only have to be able to sing a verse and a chorus, but you also have to be checked on how well you can listen and harmonize, although Alterna TV doesn’t require complex vocal arrangements like the other bands.”
Out of the many different audition-level ensembles in the commercial music program at SPC, Alterna TV is known for their aggressive style of music.
“We’ve got audition bands that are all about the top 40 Pop and country, and Alterna TV just happens to be the one with the heaviest sound,” says Borba .