As editor of a campus newspaper, you would think I’d be pretty clued into what happens on campus; what the SU are up to, where Deeks hides the bodies and of course, what societies are in UCD. Over coffee with a friend who is a committee member of the UCD musical society, I kept referring to the society as ‘music soc’ over and over. Eventually, after one-two many, I was politely corrected and told she is involved in an altogether different society than music soc.

As someone who cannot sing to save their life and does not know how on earth some wood and strings can create the noises it does, I can’t say in an expert in music. But two music socs on campus??? Something can’t be right here. Was there a great schism between the musicians in UCD years ago? Perhaps a UCD version of Yoko Ono who broke up the best thing in music since the Beatles?

Much to my disappointment, the reality is far less exciting. The two societies thrive in their own musical niche and help to ensure music-loving UCD students can find their symphonic calling. All the while having to put up with novices like me and even the Students Union confusing the two. (Yes, seriously even them!)

So we at the College Tribune spoke to both societies to find out what they do, what areas of music they focus on and their relationship to the enemies at the rival society/friends and colleagues who both share a love for all things music.

Lyndsay McKiernan, PRO for the Musical Society said they are ‘are passionate about all things musical theatre.’ The society runs 3 full-scale productions a year. Last semester, the society produced ‘Once’ the musical and have ‘Urinetown’ as their semester 2 show. It also runs two Fresher’s Takeovers a year which allows newcomers to the society to take part in a fun mini-musical. McKiernan told us ‘everyone is welcome and the event always has a fantastic atmosphere!’

There is so much more to the musical society than just productions, however. They run weekly workshops for dancing, acting, singing, audition preparation and much more. The weekly vocal allows members to workshops for dancing, acting, singing, audition preparation and much more. McKiernan said the society loves ‘to have a bit of craic too so you can come along to many of our more casual events such as karaoke nights, screenings, and many musical-themed games.’

We also spoke to Dylan Folan, PRO for the altogether different, music soc. He told us they ‘run many different music-related events throughout the semesters such as Songwriting Challenges, Open Mic Nights, Jam Sessions, Coffee Mornings, Songwriters Sessions, Speed Banding(which is like speed dating but for bands), Battle of the Bands, Gospel Choir, Contemporary Choir and Movie Nights.’

Established in 2010, music soc is clearly thriving and active society full of members who are packed with members passionate about all things music. It evidently makes a big effort to span all genres of music and bring together music lovers around campus.

So, do these two thriving societies get mixed up with each other? Folan said ‘we have been confused with the Musical Society a couple of times in the past.’ He told us about ‘a moment last semester where the SU came into us with posters saying they were for us but they were actually for the Musical Society, when we told him we hadn’t ordered posters he kept insisting that we did and then we had to explain the confusion!’ He added that ‘This was just one example to name a few where we have been mixed up with the Musial Society!’

McKiernan from the musical society admitted that ‘We have had a few messages come in about music soc alright!’ When considering why she suggested ‘the two society names sound very similar and there is, of course, overlap in what we do.’

So there you have it, mystery solved! The friendly “battle of the bands” between these two societies have helped to cultivate a thriving music scene in UCD. Dedicated members on both sides work tirelessly to engage music lovers and talented musicians. While I can now tell the difference between the two, I still remain as convinced as ever that electric guitars and bass guitars are the same thing.

Conor Paterson – Co-Editor