If you consider yourself alternative in your taste of nighttime
recreation, music and company, or if you just want somewhere to go
on Thursday nights, look no further. Thursday Night Special (TNS)
is alive and well with a theme song.
This year, graduate student Michael Cox is running TNS, an
informal concert series put on by the music graduate students each
week in the ensemble room of the music building.
“The show is an open, uncensored forum for artists to present
their work in whatever development stage it may be in. Anything
goes at the Special and often does,” said Cox.
Many students may have never heard of Thursday Night Special,
but the program is not new.
“The Special was started a few years ago by a music graduate to
give students an audience for their work. The music made at Mills
is often experimental, and therefore difficult to attain an
audience for,” said Cox.
According to Cox, Thursday Night Special should appeal to anyone
who wants and/or needs to experience something different.
“Though our performers come from the realm of the experimental
arts, we welcome anything and everything anyone wants to show off,”
Thursday Night Special gives students a rare chance to hear and
see what peers are doing with their time, Cox explained.
Senior Ruth Sears, a performance artist who appears in Thursday
Night Specials, said each new show is fun and unusual. “Sometimes
it’s musical, and sometimes it’s questionable; most of it I would
even call good,” she said.
Graduate student Scott Kasun, also involved in TNS, has an
alternative take on the Special. “Anything goes, especially if it’s
highly offensive,” he said.
Whether that’s true or not, the Thursday Night Special audience
has expanded this semester.
“It gets bigger each week,” said Cox. “I’ve been told the
turnout this year is the best the Special has ever drawn. Part of
that is the new presence of the undergraduates each week.”
Regarding the future of TNS, Cox said, “Each week is profoundly
different from the last. As long as our performers keep coming up
with interesting and, dare I say it, entertaining material, the
Special will remain fresh and exciting.”
He added, “I just want to see [Thursday Night Special] survive.
It’s rare to find this kind of freedom at a performance venue and
yet vital to the life of modern music.”