Gaylord News is a reporting project of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication

Gaylord News

Gaylord News is a reporting project of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication

Gaylord News

Gaylord News is a reporting project of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication

Gaylord News

Union Programming Board’s Sound Lounge brings opportunity for rising stars

Twice a semester Beaird Lounge is transformed into a live music venue. Guitar amps sit where students once crammed for tests and drums take the place of coffee tables. Stage lights illuminate the preferred study area while windows begin to shake from the music.

The Union Programming Board created Sound Lounge in hopes of entertaining the student body, but the live music event has resulted in much more.

Since its debut in 2013, it has proven to benefit the artists by allowing them to showcase their talents.

“Giving artists and musicians the ability to put on a live performance is more unique than just recording songs and putting them on YouTube or Soundcloud,” said Dalton Butler, director of the Sound Lounge. “It really gives them the opportunity to perform for a crowd and feel what that chemistry is like.”

The first Sound Lounge of this semester was held on Thursday, Feb. 23 and featured an array of talent, as well as a 1980s theme. The night’s line up brought returning stars Joshua Jackson, Cassidy Huckabay, Caleb Brown and The Melodic Monks back to the microphone.

Joshua Jackson, known by his stage name as Zalta, said his experiences with the event have been different than those in his hometown of Okmulgee, Oklahoma.

“The recent Sound Lounge was my fourth time to perform,” he said. “It’s helped me as far as performing for people that are my age. People in my hometown are older, and just don’t get into the music like they do here. Seeing that they feel some of the music I play helps a lot.”

Junior Cassidy Huckabay was no stranger to musical success before her first Sound Lounge performance. She travelled to Nashville in 2014 to record her cover of Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through The Grapevine.” But the Snyder, Oklahoma native said her most impactful opportunities have come from Sound Lounge.

“No one on campus really knew me as an artist until I sang at my first Sound Lounge,” she said. “I’ve performed at seven OU events since then so it’s been fun to start doing things locally, and finally getting to perform at different events on campus.”

The only band of the lineup, The Melodic Monks fit right into the evening with their 1980s influenced sound. Lennon Bramlett plays bass guitar for the Norman based group and said the event has brought them into the campus spotlight.

“All three of us go to OU, but before Sound Lounge we were playing gigs that weren’t on campus at the time,” he said. “It was our first gig that was within the OU community and since then we’ve been playing at on-campus events a lot more, and I think it’s opened up our band to being part of the actual OU music scene. We’ve been able to play at some coffee shops and other places around the Norman area as well. It’s helped us grow our audience to more of the student body.”

Although the night has opened doors to more performances, the artists have found more value in the relationships that have been formed.

“It’s helped us get more connections with other people,” Bramlett said. “We’ve actually talked with Joshua Jackson about possibly collaborating on some things. So it’s really opened us up to meeting other people.”

Cassidy Huckabay added that she has found a new family in those she’s met through the Lounge.

“I think it has given me an entirely new set of friends,” she said. “They are basically family now, because I didn’t know them before. I didn’t know that side of OU, or any other musicians on campus.”

Although Sound Lounge is its own event, it is aligned with the overarching mission of The Union Programming Board. The primary purpose of the event is to provide entertainment for the students, as well as an escape from the stress of college life.

“Having this live music event is a really unique thing to have for our organization,” said Dalton Butler. “Our mission is mainly to empower the student musicians and also create a quality music experience that everyone on the OU campus can appreciate.”

The final Sound Lounge of this semester will be held in Beaird Lounge on Thursday, Apr. 13 beginning at 7:00 p.m. For more information about the event, visit


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Gaylord News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *