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    • Omnia members (from left to right) Alexis Chang ’21, Alejandro Lopez ’21, and Steven Broun ’21 after performing at Back to School Bash.

Q+A With Student Band Omnia

Elle Zuse '21
Omnia is a band made up of three Hopkins students: Alexis Chang ’21, Steven Broun ’21, and Alejandro (Ale) Lopez ’21. Their most recent performance was at Back to School Bash where they performed “Goodie Bag” by Still Woozy, “Some” by Steve Lacy, and “River” by Leon Bridges.
How did Omnia form?
Chang: The first version of our band started in October of our freshman year. Alejandro and I were taking Italian 1 together, and, that year, the annual Italian dance workshop finished early. We decided to go to the band room and play together for the first time because we had brought up in conversation that I played guitar and he played bass. We had a short-lived band with Elio DiMauro [’22] and his brother Giovanni [’21], but Alejandro and I stuck together and started to look for members. Miya [Segal ’21] came to us about two days later asking about the singer/pianist position. We had her do a small au- dition in the practice rooms to see if we sounded good together, and after a couple of minutes we said YES. Steven joined about a year later, in September of 2018. We needed a drummer to play with us in the Back To School Bash, and he sounded perfect. That night was so successful and fun, so the next day we asked him if he wanted to officially join the band. Steven: Yeah, they texted me asking if I wanted to see if I could fit with their band cause they needed a drummer, and I gladly agreed. Luckily they liked how we all sounded together (I did too), so after BTSB, they asked me to join officially and I said yes.

How did you choose the name Omnia?
Chang: Alejandro and I are both huge fans of the show Stranger Things, and one of the actors, Finn Wolfhard, has a band called “Calpurnia” that we both love. We decided that we wanted a short band name like that one, one that is cool, unique, and does not have just one definition. Either Ale or Miya, I don’t remember who, had come up with the name “Omnia” because it means “all” or “everything” in Latin, and, like our band, we enjoy playing all types of genres.

How often do you rehearse?
Where do you rehearse?
Broun, Chang, and Lopez: Rehearsals depend on our weeks, and how much the year permits. The majority of our practices take place in the music rooms of Thompson. Freshman year practices were
pretty much every single day after lunch, up until about January. After that, it was about once a week, which was still fun and enough for us. Before we play at Back to School Bash, we meet a ton; pretty much every time we are all free to work together. We will probably try to meet twice every week or something like that this year.

What is the process like for choosing your set list for performances?
Chang and Lopez: Usually, we try to find songs that are well known and will get the audience excited, but, at the same time, songs that we love and en- joy make our playing so much better. All together, we have a variety of tastes in music. Because of this, we try to do one song that each of us chooses and likes. We also like to finish with a slow song.

Broun: We often have a list of songs that we want to play/we think would sound really cool, and then from there we focus on the ones that we can solidify before a performance. After that, we try to go back and work on the others from that list. I think we have four different Spotify playlists of songs that we all want to work on.

What experience do you have with music?
Lopez: Before Omnia, I played the bass guitar for all of eighth grade and ninth grade. My music knowledge comes from Jazz Rock Ensemble and Omnia. Playing jazz standards in class is easier than playing in front of a crowd but my  mates make it fun.

Broun: I started playing piano in third grade, then picked up the saxophone in sixth grade, drums in seventh, and actually started learning guitar this summer. Music is just something that surrounds my life: whether I’m working on homework or trying to write some music of my own, I can use my background to re- ally try and make everything sound good. Omnia has been really helpful with this: we all have such great ideas about how the music can sound better, and we can work ideas off of each other. We’re also collaborative, which makes it super fun.

Chang: Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. It’s probably the area I’m the strongest in, and most passionate about as an artist. I grew up listening to many different types of music that have inspired the music I try to create today. I started playing piano when I was four, and when I was in sixth grade, I found a ukulele in our basement that I learned to play. I started playing guitar in the summer after sixth grade, which then led me to start writing music. I love exploring new genres with Omnia that I probably would not have gotten into otherwise.
What are your hopes for the band this year?
Chang and Lopez: We would love to perform more this year! Last year we only formed at Back to School Bash, so we to try to expand from that because it is much fun to play for Hopkins students.

Broun: We‘re also working on creating some original songs that could turn into an EP or an album, so we’re super excited about that.
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