These fall school days often seem to drag along, and are sometimes very boring. But days a made better when
students walk through the Student Union and hear live music being played for them.
The Student Union Performance Series (SUPS) has become a huge success for the Fine Arts department here at Boise State. Holly Gilchrist, the Fine Arts manager fills
“We looked at the calendar to kind of see which days would be the best to fall on with everything else that’s going on
campus. There’s no real pattern to it this year,” Gilchrist said.
Gilchrist also mentioned that music lovers can keep updated with SUPS by following the program’s many websites, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. SUPS is going on it’s 17th season this year.
It wasn’t always as geared towards students as it is now though.
Beginning in 1996, the program was originally called Classical Performance Series and focused on classical and chamber music and was held in the Special Events Center (SPEC).
It was a huge success in the Boise community at the time.
“The program grew and a lot of concerts sold out, but the students weren’t coming. I came on board in 2006, and I noticed right away that students weren’t really present in this.” Gilchrist said.
“There would really only be about 10 students out of 400 attendees. The thing is, student fees were paying for the program.”
With that much of a disconnect, Gilchrist advocated for the program to become more conducive to students.
The first step they took was changing the program name to what it currently is, Student Union Performance Series and removed the student admission fee.
“I was approved to do a hybrid plan, and last year was the kickoff,” said
The hybrid plan consisted of doing at least two evening classical performances and the rest of the budget could go towards having the concerts during the day outside on the SUB patio, inside the retail dining area or out at the amphitheater.
The new plan was a monumental success.
“We went from an average student attendance of 1,511 per year to a staggering current average of 6,469 students,” said Gilchrist. “I think specifically what has ignited the program is that we have put the music where the students are.”
Gilchrist has a student assistant, Jessica Wright, who contracts the bands that play, and gets promotional tools together.
What the team is really looking for now is more student musicians.
“So far to date, it has been hard for us to cultivate the student musician crowd,” Gilchrist said.
Last year there were a few students who went up and showcased their talents.
“With each concert date, our goal is to promote local and emerging musicians,” Gilchrist said.
For more information on the Fine Arts Program and to find out when to catch a show, visit finearts.boisestate.edu.