Grad takes GFC stage

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An Allegheny alumnus will be returning to the stage in Grounds for Change (GFC) this weekend. On Saturday, Feb. 13 at 8 p.m., Shane Murphy will come to a place he frequented during open mics while he was still a student.

Murphy, a 2008 graduate, is a singer/songwriter from Poughkeepsie, New York who plays acoustic/experimental/folk music.

“He fits right in with the vibe at GFC,” said Stephanie Miller, ’10, music chair for the GFC executive board. “We try to have an eclectic mix of music and we emphasize bringing in musicians who are part of the Allegheny community or the Meadville area.”

Murphy has been playing and writing music for as long as he can remember and wrote a lot during his years here. Since graduating from Allegheny, Murphy has been extremely busy.  He went to Ohio State briefly for creative writing, left that program to work at a publishing house in New York and is now an interpreter at a living–history museum. Throughout all these changes he has always had one thing to fall back on: his music.

“It’s been a topsy–turvy year, and so music has been my constant,” Murphy said.

Songwriting is something that Murphy has found comes easily to him. He feels his writing has reached out to people in different ways and, like many songwriters, he is happy that his music is able to do that, especially since he enjoys writing.

“I’ve never been — as I’m sure some Allegheny professors might confirm – the best at following the rules, accepting set requirements, catering to whims,” Murphy said. “And so I enjoy more than anything the self–government of songwriting, and the time to ruminate, undo or alter things until I’m content with the result.”

Murphy is looking forward not only to returning to campus to perform but also to seeing both old and new faces.

“Going back to Allegheny is always a little bittersweet,” Murphy said. “I made most of my best friendships there, and, as it’s meant to happen, we’ve all been scattered across the map. It’s a wonderful place though and I look forward to seeing some old friends and maybe making some new ones.”

GFC concerts are a unique on-campus experience; in addition to the great musicians, the general ambiance of GFC during the concerts is a lot of fun.

“The atmosphere is pretty enthusiastic, I’d say,” said Christian Detisch, ’11. “You know, lively and all.”

Students, like Detisch, generally enjoy the concerts and always end up having a great time.

Murphy’s debut album, “loosestrife/tightgrief,” will be released soon, but until then, you can give his music a listen on his  MySpace music page, www.myspace.com/shanejmurphy or his professional Facebook page, www.facebook.com/shanemurphy.music.

Those who hear his music, Miller claims, won’t be disappointed.

“He plays beautiful, emotional music with interesting influences,” she said. “I listened to his music on his MySpace page and thought he was definitely worth booking.”

As for Murphy, he hopes that his listeners will understand where his music is coming from.

“If there’s something that I try to stay true to, it’s emotional integrity and honesty,” he said. “Poetry has taught me that. If people hear anything in my songs, I hope it might be that.”

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