The Boston Music Scene
By Reuel Daniels
Whether you're a student of music or a student who loves music, there is something for everyone in Boston. Let’s start with radio. When you tune into WERS, Emerson College's student-run radio station, you’ll find the latest in indie-rock, world music and folk to hip hop, jazz and reggae. With its wide range of programs, WERS mirrors the Boston music scene- diverse, cutting edge, and driven by the region's college students. And it’s just one of the many college radio stations in town.
Boston's live-music scene also caters to the college crowd . Students can rock to their favorite local bands at intimate venues like the Paradise, Harpers Ferry and the House of Blues, or sample the best of pop culture at the Orpheum, the Berklee Performance Center or the TD Banknorth Garden. The warmer months bring students outdoors for free
But in Boston, live music means more than just watching bands perform at local clubs. It also means watching your college's a Capella group sing in Faneuil Hall, taking in a Broadway-style musical on campus or catching one of the outdoor concerts and festivals along the Charles River at the Hatch Shell.
Though Boston's colleges and universities provide the momentum for a burgeoning rock scene, the classical world also remains an integral part of Boston's cultural heritage. Driven by its colleges of music and conservatories (such as the Boston Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, Emerson College and Boston University's School of Fine Arts) the city's classical music reigns supreme. The Boston Symphony Orchestra, considered one of the most versatile ensembles in the world, celebrates the local diversity of the music scene with its embrace of both traditional and contemporary scores. They also offer a great discount for student aficionados; for just $25 the BSO College Card will get you into select concerts throughout the season.
Cambridge: Boston's "Left Bank."
It's impossible to speak about musical diversity without mentioning Cambridge. With a sound and a scene quite different from Boston, Cambridge's five squares comprise a musical haven for the alternative, indie, hip, and unaffected rocker. Students line up early at venues like The Middle East, T.T. the Bear's, and the Lizard Lounge. Lovers of folk, jazz and blues can be found at Club Passim, the Cantab Lounge, and Ryles Jazz Club. For reggae lovers it's The Western Front and for those who prefer Electronica, the Enormous Room features the hottest DJs and the coolest Mediterranean style decor. And you can't talk about live music in Cambridge without mentioning the street performers. Harvard Square is a mecca for a diverse mix of licensed street performers called "Buskers," who earn their chops as well as their pocket money on street corners and subway stops.
It has been said that music and the arts bring great cities to life. With its mix of top colleges and a diverse arts and music scene, Boston is more than just a great city- it's the perfect college destination. Make sure to check out the music listings in The Boston Pheonix or Boston.com because you”ll never want to miss a beat.