Live music on the lawn sparks excitement, engages community

Photo by Linsey Flinn

Francesco Pinque

Staff Writer

Saturday evening, students gathered on the grassy field outside Finnegan Fieldhouse to enjoy live music, hot apple cider and various lawn games at Live on the Lawn.

The entire area was buzzing with activity. Some groups of students formed teams for cornhole, ladderball, spikeball, kanjam and ultimate frisbee; others held conversations while holding cups of hot apple cider.

Most participants, however, sat down in lawn chairs and on blankets, cheering, applauding and singing along with the live music performers.

The first performers, Joe Mello and The Wednesday Night Rhythm Section, played covers of R&B music, such as “Beyond” by Leon Bridges, to the cheers and shouts of enthused students.

Next, junior Michael Telles performed some of his own original pieces and folk music covers, supported by the applause of the crowd.

John Paul Von Arx, a Franciscan University of Steubenville alumnus and country music songwriter, was the last performer of the night. He played fast-paced covers of popular songs such as “Take Me Home, Country Roads” along with slower-paced original pieces such as “He’s Different,” which is based on his experiences with his younger brother with Down Syndrome.

As the sky grew darker, bonfires were lit, providing centers of warmth and conversation while the music continued to play.

At the end of the event, participants sang along with Von Arx’s cover of “Sweet Caroline,” ending in a burst of cheers and a standing ovation.

“Having everyone out here just gathering as a community is always really great,” said junior Chris Peffer. “Just having all these events and … the little games we can do, it’s great. And the music is amazing. I love these events (that) get us together as a campus.”

“I think this is really great,” said sophomore Maria Klingenberger. “I think people like to hang out in the grass outside the J.C. all day, every day, and having an actual event here encourages it even more with the bonfires and the music and everything. … The music is really beautiful and meaningful as well. I think it’s just a perfect fall event. We should do it again.”

Live on the Lawn was sponsored by St. Thomas More Hall Residence Life.