Griffins come together at the Roost Project

Ocean Candler, a sophomore public health major, serenades a group of students gathered to enjoy a cup of coffee and live music in the Bassis Student Center on Feb. 21. Members of ASW said the Roost Project, which is sponsored by ASW, is meant to have a laid back coffee shop feel where students can come relax. Photo by Bre Empey.

Ocean Candler, a sophomore public health major, serenades a group of students gathered to enjoy a cup of coffee and live music in the Bassis Student Center on Feb. 21. Members of ASW said the Roost Project, which is sponsored by ASW, is meant to have a laid back coffee shop feel where students can come relax. Photo by Bre Empey.

ASW’s Roost Project, held once every semester, provided students the opportunity to showcase their music or slam poetry prowess on Feb. 21 in the Bassis Student Center.

“The idea is that it’s kind of a coffee house kickback, so you just come and you listen to your friends play music and you have some treats on us and you kind of hang out, maybe do some homework,” said Cassandra Yerkes, a junior arts administration major and ASW's special events chair.

ASW provided snacks, tea and coffee to students who attended the event.

“I mean, we have free food [and] your fellow peers are playing," said Grace Gorham, sophomore elementary and special education major and ASW assistant special events chair. "It’s a fun event,”

The Roost is one of ASW’s more casual events, Yerkes said.

“I think my favorite thing about it is that it’s a really low-key event," she said. "People can kind of come and stay for a minute, maybe they just watch their friend play, then they can leave. I tend to like events that are low commitment so people don’t feel like they have to come and stay for the whole time. They can just swing by.”

Though the Roost Project is laid back for the attendees, it can be nerve-wracking for the performers.

“I’m part of ASW and I’ve been tempted to do it in the past but have been nervous to because I don’t perform very often," said Claire Bruce, senior elementary and special education major. “But I figured it was a good chance. I’m a senior, [so] it’s one of my last chances. So I thought I might as well.”

Any student who would like to perform at the Roost Project is welcome to audition.

Olivia Wathne, a senior communication major, performs covers and her original music at ASW's Roost Project event in the Bassis Student Center on Feb. 21. The Roost Project is held once a semester and different students are asked to perform each time. Photo by Bre Empey.

Olivia Wathne, a senior communication major, performs covers and her original music at ASW's Roost Project event in the Bassis Student Center on Feb. 21. The Roost Project is held once a semester and different students are asked to perform each time. Photo by Bre Empey.

“We have auditions that we conduct two weeks before the event,” Gorham said. “We have artists email a 30-second video of themselves playing, or they just come talk to us.”

Students who perform at the event receive a $20 dollar gift card.

“ASW functions off student fees, so when you pay tuition you also are paying student fees and we take that money and it goes towards putting on the events,” Yerkes said. “In this case, putting on the event includes compensating the students that are preforming, but we don’t pay them in a check form. We pay them in their option of gift card, so it’s more of a reward than compensation.”

Olivia Wathne, a senior communication major, said she wants to take advantage of every opportunity she has to perform, which is why she auditioned for the Roost Project.

“I play gigs around Salt Lake and I am trying to make the next step to becoming an actual musician who plays around,” Wathne said.” So I try to play any chance I get.”

The idea for the Roost Project was conceived from a different ASW event.

“We do something every year called the Roast'n'Toast as well, which we bring in outside artists and they come and perform for the school and we have snacks and everything,” Yerkes said. “It’s really similar, but we wanted a more low-key version we could include students in and showcase student talent.”

Students who missed the Roost Project this semester or want to perform will have another opportunity coming Fall 2017.

“I think the Roost should keep going,” Wathne said. “I think there’s a lot of talented musicians on campus that we don’t know about.”