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The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Kellogg students strike a chord in music and business

Jerry Wu/The Daily Northwestern
The Captains of Industry, one of the two bands that fall under the student-run organization Kellogg Bands, holds a late-night rehearsal.

Second-year Kellogg School of Management student Taylor Perz came to Kellogg for an MBA, but she said business school has provided her a second career.

“I always say that I came to business school to be a performing arts major,” she said.

Prior to her arrival to Evanston last fall, Perz came across a band performing at a Halloween party in town when she toured the school. She said her curiosity was immediately piqued.

“Seeing how the crowd reacted to the band and how much fun they were having, I saw what a big deal they were and how incredibly talented they were,” Perz said.

She ended up joining the Rocket Pockets — one of two bands from the student-run music organization, Kellogg Bands —  as a vocalist. 

Kellogg Bands affords graduate students an avenue to tap into their artistic talents one last time before entering the professional world. The organization has been around for about 15 years. 

“Business schools have weirdly always had a highly creative twist because often you get people who were musicians in college who were semi-professional who worked in the industry,” said Peter Dissinger, co-president of Kellogg Bands.

While the ten-member Rocket Pockets mainly performs punk-pop rock music, the other seven-member group, Captains of Industry, specializes in pop-funk.

The two bands put on an estimated nine to 10 events each year, which hundreds of fellow Kellogg students typically attend. Amidst the ceaseless responsibilities and tasks that come with graduate school, band members meet once or twice a week for rehearsals late at night inside the Kellogg Global Hub.

“I would say business school (is) less so than others, but most graduate schools are pressure cookers,” Dissinger said. “You’re doing research. You’re pursuing a residency. It’s so intense that there isn’t time for these kinds of things.” 

Dissinger said during each rehearsal, the artists quickly run through songs, spending no more than a minute on each tune. After finalizing their program, they work to refine the arrangement with 20 to 30 hours of practice before showtime.

In a culmination of the band’s effort, the Kellogg Bands faced off against two other bands from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business at this summer’s annual Battle of the Bands, which Perz said is seen as the business school equivalent of the Super Bowl. The event, held at The Vic Theatre in Chicago, saw about 1,400 attendees. 

Each group hit the stage for 35 minutes, squeezing in 12 songs. Riding off the crowd’s energy, the Northwestern bands came out on top.

“It was very electrifying because you gain so much energy from the crowd,” said Pallavi Agarwaal, a vocalist for the Rocket Pockets. “We always try to give the best performances because we know the crowd enjoys it so much.”

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Twitter: @Jerrwu

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