AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn University's student body is no stranger to singer-songwriter's bringing their talent to town. The Plains have welcomed many original performers over the years. Auburn has welcomed artists belting their original tunes such as Beth Wood and Pentatonix.
The Auburn University Program Council hosted a songwriting workshop, Jan. 16.
Singer-songwriter Dan Henig instructed the session. Henig is among many YouTube sensations to find success using the medium. Not only does he write some of his music, Henig is also proficient in several instruments. First playing cello, he then learned trumpet before discovering guitar.
"[I tried] every instrument I could get my hands on," Henig said.
Though he was most interested in mastering guitar, he first had to master owning one. Making a deal with his mother, Henig says,"I told her I could figure out how to play any song within 5 minutes at the store. It took me 10 minutes, but she bought me the guitar anyway!"
Just a few years later, more than 65 million YouTube users subscribe to Dan Henig's YouTube channel. Fans can also follow Henig on his website to stay updated on his musical endeavors.
After reviewing Dan's YouTube videos, "[we] knew that he would be the perfect fit for the event. And he was," said UPC's director of fine arts, Marissa Passi. "He was welcoming and engaging with each student that walked through the door."
Stoked to play at auburn university tonight!!!— Dan Henig (@danhenig) January 16, 2014
Twenty-five students attended the event to maintain an environment conducive to learning and collaborating.
"Henig performed some original songs as well as some of the covers that have made him famous on YouTube," Passi said. "He also gave some tips and insight about the music business. He shared what it is like to be in the business of writing songs for other artists to sing."
Passi says the event "was a success," and it is just the first of many songwriting-themed events to take place in Auburn area.
Marc Kenney, Opelika-born singer-songwriter, hosted "All Songwriter's Night" in downtown Opelika's Caterpiller's Eyebrow lounge. The event took place Feb. 4. It consisted of a workshop and performance session. Kenney and the Huntsville-based Damn Skippy and featured their music.
Yet another event of interest to songwriters and their fans is approaching, Feb. 25. UPC will host Songwriting Showcase in the AU Student Center Ballroom. Auburn students applied to perform their original songs in this showcase. Selected students will compete in the Showcase in front of a panel of judges and live audience. The judges include singer-songwriter Teddy Geiger. The panel will choose two of three final contestants to perform in the finale. As an audience member, you get to choose the third finale contestant through a "Fan Favorite" vote. The finalists will be vying for cash prizes. First place wins $200, second place takes home $150 and "Fan Favorite" receives a $100 reward. The event will begin at 7 p.m. and feature a brief performance by Teddy Geiger. Following the Showcase competition, Geiger will sign autographs.
Auburn's University Program Council includes six planning committees and five supporting committees. The Fine Arts committee handles bringing these songwriting-themed events to campus.
"The Fine Arts committee aims to provide students with opportunities to express [their creativity]. We hope [these] events allow Auburn students to build on interests and talents that they might not pursue," Passi said.