DI Voices | Participating in Star Course deepened my love for music


Photo courtesy of Noah Nelson

Senior columnist Noah Nelson with the band Beach Bunny after their performance at Foellinger Auditorium on Oct. 7. Nelson expresses his gratitude for his time with the Star Course Concert Committee.

By Noah Nelson, Senior Columnist

If music isn’t somehow part of your daily life in some capacity, then you’re not living life to the fullest. Music is the universal language that brings us together, inspires us, motivates us and helps us find ourselves in ways nothing else can.

I knew I wanted to pursue something with music during my time at the University. In fall 2019, I joined Star Course Concert Committee, the registered student organization that books concerts for students throughout the school year. Because of Star Course, I deepened my love for music.

I was always a musical kid. Whether it was singing the words to a song out loud, changing up those words to new ones or dancing like no one was watching, music was always a part of my life. This led to me playing trumpet in the band from fifth grade to my senior year of high school.

Eventually, I picked up the acoustic guitar and haven’t looked back since. It’s helped develop my craft for songwriting over the years, and I’ve penned over 500 songs since middle school. But I fell so much more in love with music after joining Star Course.

When they hosted Jesse McCartney at Foellinger Auditorium in October 2018, I won free tickets and went with a friend. I didn’t know what the organization was then, but after seeing them in action, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

Flash forward to the next year’s Quad Day, and I made sure I signed up for the RSO. Before I knew it, I was promoting shows, selling tickets and working as a crew member.

These are the tasks I, along with my fellow members and the student executive team, have done at each show. But this was all worth it in the end.

Because of Star Course, I was able to meet many of the acts we hosted over the years. These include Doja Cat, Peach Pit, Beach Bunny and bbno$. Without the club, I never would have been exposed to other genres of music or these artists.

I never served as an executive member of Star Course, but I still had a great time being part of one of the oldest student organizations on campus. And to think, over a century ago, they began by hosting political figures to give speeches and lectures. It morphed into music acts soon after and they haven’t looked back since.

I thank everyone I ever worked with in Star Course. You share my love of music, concerts and fun. I’ll never forget a single concert I worked, an artist I met or the memories I’ve made because of the organization.

I’m thankful each day I could be a part of one of the oldest student clubs on campus. I’m even more grateful it helped deepen my love for music, a love that will last long after the final encore.


Noah is a senior in Media.

[email protected]