Campus News

Story behind gazebo music uncovered

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The snow has finally fallen, and Christmas cheer is spreading. But around Bethel, students have already been feeling the holiday spirit. When everyone came back after Thanksgiving break, students noticed something different on their way to class: music. Christmas music has been playing over a loudspeaker in the gazebo ever since, and students are enjoying the atmosphere. “You hear (the music) and you start humming a song and you’re just happier throughout the day,” said senior Levi Riggenbach. However, not everyone enjoys the festive tunes. “I don’t really like Christmas music, but I think it creates a good atmosphere,” said sophomore Luke Hoffman. Whether the music is to your liking or not, it has definitely made an impact on the campus. So who is behind the music? Student Council approved the idea, but the music is largely due to the hard work of Campus Activities intern Jon Nicoletti, a sophomore at Bethel. The music was a tradition until last year when the gazebo was silenced during the holiday season. When Nicoletti heard about this, he decided to take action. “In recent years they’ve (had music in the gazebo) and last year just kind of dropped the ball,” Nicoletti said. “A lot of people were kind of upset about that….when the opportunity to take initiative into making the Christmas music happen, I just figured that’s something I would really like to see done.” So, when Thanksgiving break was over, the music began. Many students have wondered how the music is played. Nicoletti said that they had some help from maintenance on that one. “Maintenance actually built this speaker contraption…that we just plug an iPod into,” Nicoletti said. The “contraption” has chargers hooked up to it so that neither it nor the iPod runs out of battery – making 24/7 music a possibility. However, to do that, you have to have a lot of music. “There’s about 20 hours of music on (the iPod),” Nicoletti said. Christmas music is usually acceptable under Bethel standards, but to make sure that no objectionable content would sneak in, someone had to approve the songs. Yep, you guessed it – Nicoletti. “Twenty hours takes a while to listen to,” Nicoletti said. “I didn’t listen to every song all the way through, but I gave it 50 seconds to live or die.” He seems to think that the hard work has paid off. “A lot of people enjoy (the music) and so it’s just kind of a nice thing to have a warm environment out around the campus –walking around listening to Christmas music,” Nicoletti said. “Once it eventually snows, it’s kind of nice to walk around in a winter wonderland.” Nicoletti said that the music will last until students leave for Christmas Break, but it may be a little quieter. “We may turn it down here pretty soon for finals week,” Nicoletti said. “I hear you can hear it in the library.” With snow on the ground, the line from the classic Christmas song rings true – it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. On Bethel’s campus, it’s beginning to sound like it too.
The music coming from the main gazebo, pictured above, can be heard throughout most of the campus.
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