Sonic Nation is the commercial music ensemble associated with the new Commercial Music degree in the Department of Music, however, it is open to all university students by audition. The group is student-centered: students choose the songs to be performed, write the charts, book their own gigs, do their own advertising and promotion, and learn to set up, tear down, and operate sound reinforcement equipment.
Music faculty members guide and mentor the students through the process. Our goal is to provide Sonic Nation with its own inventory of instruments and equipment.
Currently, the group has no drums, keyboards, or amplifiers of its own, and lacks the necessary road cases to pack equipment for travel to gigs (the ensemble schedules three to five concerts per semester on average). The group borrows its instruments and equipment from other music department ensembles and shares a mixing console with the Composition and Technology area. This creates scheduling problems and undue wear and tear on the host ensemble’s equipment.
Instruments and electronic equipment for this type of performing ensemble can be very expensive, typically costing thousands of dollars per item. Our project goal of $15,000 would provide most of the gear needed for the group. Any surplus funds raised would be used to purchase the remaining items.
Sonic Nation presents several concerts per year for the community and local organizations and plans annual, regional touring experiences for students to promote Auburn University and its commercial music program. The group has recently completed a recording project of original songs, with a commercial release planned for early 2022.