Justin Curtis picked up his first drumsticks at age eight, and has since seen the artistic power of music.
“I’ve always wanted to be artistic, but I can’t draw,” Curtis said, a junior from Mesa, Ariz. “Music is my way to be artistic. Everybody needs that chance to be artistic, and if music is yours, go for it.”
Curtis, drummer for TheLoveCapades, found his love and inspiration for music from listening to his dad who is also a drummer. Curtis recalls playing along to The Police on his dad’s electric drum set as a child.
Like Curtis, other BYU students use music as a way to express themselves and share a message. BYU musicians all have different inspirations and reasons for their music. Fifteen of these musicians shared their talents with their fellow students at BYUSA’s Guitars Unplugged on November 2. The concert featured the band Robert & The Carrolls as well as other bands and individual musicians. All the music groups included an acoustic guitar.
Kara Duraccio, a singer and song-writer from Boise, Idaho, writes her songs based on her life experiences and loves the power that music adds to words.
“All my songs come from experience,” Duraccio said, a senior studying psychology. “Music can speak to people in ways that words can’t. I can read lyrics to someone and they’re powerful, but when I sing, there’s something different.”
Brett Brown, 18, from Chico, Calif., played his guitar and sang an original song and a cover at the event. He said his musical source of inspiration is his grandfather.
“My grandpa is 85, and he’s still got it,” Brown said. “He still sings. I want to be like that when I’m older.”
Brown said although he is preparing to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints soon, he plans to keep music as a part of his life. For him, it has a deeper, more spiritual purpose.
“I love being able to bear my testimony through music,” Brown said. “I want to be a representative of Jesus Christ in everything I do. I hope to be able to touch people’s hearts with music on my mission.”
Garrett Kirschbaum, a junior from American Fork, said he has only played the guitar for one year. He performed a solo at Guitars Unplugged, but he is also part of a band called The Simple City. Kirschbaum’s songs are not always complete when he performs, he said that is part of his musical style.
“The first time I wanted to perform, I hadn’t finished my song so I improvised,” Kirschbaum said. “Now I usually leave the bridge out of my song, so I can make it up on stage. It helps me to be less nervous.”
Guitars Unplugged gave these student musicians the opportunity to share their talents and love for music with their fellow students.
“I love performing,” said Justin Movick, guitarist for LaJIT. “We’re grateful to be able to contribute to the BYU culture through music.”