By McKenna Middleton | Page One Editor
Before Judah and the Lion takes the stage at the Baylor Chi Omega Chili Cook-off and Concert tonight, the crowd will hear the up-beat indie-pop sound of The Greeting Committee, a four-person band from Kansas City, Kan.
The band met at Blue Valley High School in 2014 and played for the first time at their school’s talent show.
The first whispers of The Greeting Committee manifested with Addie Sartino, 19, the main vocalist, who also plays instruments in the band. Sartino wrote and released her own music in the early days of high school.
“I would play at coffee shops and open mic nights, but something always felt like it was missing,” Sartino said.
She was introduced to guitarist Brandon Yangmi, 17, who joined her in the creation of The Greeting Committee. They recruited Austin Fraser on drums and Pierce Turcotte, 19, on bass.
In less than two years, The Greeting Committee has gotten radio play, performed at major music festivals such as Lollapalloza and is now touring with Judah and the Lion this month.
“We started out as four high school kids getting together to play music for fun,” Yangmi said. “We wrote our first song and performed for our first live audience at the school talent show. It went really well, so we just kept going from there and played at any bar or club that would allow minors to play.”
They recorded their first EP, “It’s Not All That Bad,” in an unfinished storage room with equipment borrowed from a friend.
“Eventually, we decided to make demos to show bar owners, hoping it’ll help our chances of getting more shows,” Yangmi said. “We sent it in to our local radio station, and they played ‘Hands Down’ and ‘Make it Right.’ Both songs got positive feedback, and the EP that was supposed to be demos started getting label’s attention.”
The band was later signed to Harvest Records, which re-released their five-song EP.
“This is all still crazy for me because I still see us as a little band from Blue Valley High School,” Yangmi said.
The album reflects a distinctly varied collection of musical influence. Most of the songs are up beat with Sartino’s smooth soprano voice complementing a unique musicality of instruments.
“All of us have very diverse tastes and inspirations when it comes to writing music, which results in a very diverse catalog of songs,” Turcotte said.
Through social media platforms, the influence of The Greeting Committee’s songs ranges from people adopting “Hands Down” as their wedding song to encouraging fans in hard times. The lyrics throughout “It’s Not All That Bad” are relatable and encouraging. The song “Make it Right,” for example, talks about being confident in yourself and not having to prove yourself to others.
“I would say my highlight is hearing the impact we have made on people and all the potential we have to make an even bigger one,” Sartino said. “In Los Angeles, a boy came up to me and told me we helped him get through some hardships and essentially saved his life. After that, we just hugged for three minutes straight.”
The band said they are excited to visit friends and popular spots in Waco while they are here and especially look forward to sharing their music with tonights crowd. The Greeting Committee will perform at 6 p.m. tonight at Waco Hall.