“Somewhere Up There”, a five-member rock group from SUNY Oneonta, has been named the first-ever SUNY Music Madness champion through a SUNY-wide contest that collected thousands of votes during the fall 2013 semester. The band beat out over a dozen entrants and edged ahead of the other two finalists, SUNY New Paltz‘s Analise & EJ Rios and classmates Hello, Seattle.
Somewhere Up There formed at SUNY Oneonta following the members’ dabbling with music at different high schools across New York. It is possibly this diverse background, fostering a wide range of talent and compatibility, that has allowed the five men to create such a smooth product in just a couple years of collaboration.
“With Somewhere Up There, we are able to make music the way we hear it in our heads,” says Rob Farella, drummer, who studies music industry at the Central New York college.
The translation of music from abstract melodies inside the heads of Rob, Nick Squillante (vocals, music industry major), Nick Juliano (keyboard/synth, physics major), Joe Frappaolo (guitar, music industry major), and Kyle Sisco (economics major) to airwaves filling the halls of SUNY Oneonta has been made possible, the band says, by SUNY Oneonta itself.
From practice rooms to professional guidance, the College has positioned Somewhere Up There to properly manage the growth of the band’s high-quality entertainment in a way that meets modern industry demands.
“SUNY Oneonta has played a major part in our development as a band,” SUT writes in an email to Generation SUNY. “The professors in the music industry department have done so much for us by teaching better techniques in playing our respective instruments, advising us when it comes to record deals, and even lending their personal gear in our time of need.”
And their music career, they say, has just begun. They are releasing their first full album this spring and have a five-year goal set: to be signed and touring the country by 2019.
For seasoned music lovers, the adage of tech’s impact on music–and the making of it–is perfectly clear when comparing Somewhere Up There with a college-founded band, say, two decades ago. But no matter the impact of the changes, the emotional connection is just as pure.
“There is no greater feeling than being able to press play on a computer and hear your very own creation,” says Rob.
And press play is what we–and thousands of others–did in order to vote this promising music group the 2013 SUNY Music Madness champion.
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Champion photo: Jason Sexton Photography via Somewhere Up There on Facebook
Big Ideas is the Blog of The State University of New York, published by the Office of New Media.