Laura Day Rocks Out

Director of Service Learning Laura Day realizes her dream of playing in a band

Traveling across the roads of Mississippi, Laura Day, Director of Service Learning, took a break from filming a post-racial relations documentary  in civil rights towns and strolled into a small music shop in Clarksdale.

After playing almost every guitar in the shop, she came across one that sounded better than the rest.

The owner of the shop accepted Day’s old guitar along with a small sum of money in return for this new guitar. So, pulling out of Clarksdale, known as “Home of the Blues,” with the special guitar in its hard case, her music career continued.

Growing up, Day was always inspired by music but was hindered by her inability to play an instrument.

While living in New York in 2008, she taught herself how to play the acoustic guitar using Mel Bay’s Guitar Book. That’s when she started playing for hours everyday, trying different chords and writing music.

She moved home to Arlington for a month and took time to master playing her guitar before heading off to Boston, Mass. for a new job opportunity.  Once in Boston, she became a part of a three man Indie Rock band.

The band was not successful and only lasted a few months but her love of playing with a group was sparked.

In April of this year, Day decided to pursue her musical interests by joining a band in Dallas. After speaking to some friends about this desire, she was introduced to Kinnan Roberts and Jason Smith, who share her passion for music. Roberts and Smith had recently moved from Los Angeles, Calif., leaving their band there.

The threesome quickly became friends, joined forces and began playing together. They play a number of covers from bands like Radiohead, Deer Tick and Modest Mouse.

The band practices on Monday nights in a recording studio in a band member’s house. Day and Roberts sing and play the guitar. Smith plays the base.

She said that going out and forming this band was a “brave move” but speaks of it as a very rewarding experience.

“I am sitting here just like a strange little teacher at Hockaday and music is not necessarily something I’m great at,” Day remarked. “I have no experience in being in a band and I taught myself to play the guitar, and out of nowhere I find two people and [we] want to go play in front of other people.”

Day’s participation in the band was unknown to most Hockaday students and faculty.

Sophomore Emma Winson, Community Service Board Member, said she “wouldn’t have expected [Day being in an Indie Rock Band].”

“I think it is really cool that she has a bunch of different sides to herself that she takes into consideration for community service and her job at Hockaday,” Winson said.

While this Indie Rock band is still young, Day and the rest of her group hope to master enough covers in order to play for an hour, as this is the shortest time slot for most performances.

They are hoping to perform in October but have not booked a location or date at this time.

The band is also still looking for a name to capture the essence of the music they represent. They have played around with a few possibilities, including The Old Fashions, but nothing so far has stuck.

With or without a name for her band, Day still enjoys just playing for fun.

Day explained, “I think it is important as a human being to do things that make you uncomfortable, but make you grow.”

-Austria Arnold