Correction appended: Oct. 21, 2012.
Members of Penn State student group Students Organizing the Multiple Arts, SOMA, gathered Wednesday night to perform laid-back versions of popular songs.
SOMA arranged the year's second "Keyboard CATA" event, during which students as well as a few State College residents commandeered a series of CATA buses and serenaded passengers.
The bus tour was previously scheduled for a Friday night a few weeks ago, but unfortunate weather conditions forced the group to postpone. While SOMA Vice President Jon Niles said the group does not condone drinking as part of a university-sponsored event, he said passengers who were going out on the weekend might have also appreciated the group's music.
"Everyone who's drunk is really receptive to a drum and a guitar," Niles (senior-education and public policy) said.
The group -- consisting of two additional guitarists, two bongo players and a large handful of brazen singers--kicked off the evening on Curtain Road in front of East Halls and caught the White Loop just after 9 p.m. Once the dozen or so members packed themselves onto the already crowded bus, Niles popped on his orange-hued wayfarer sunglasses and began strumming the opening riff of Third Eye Blind's "Jumper" on his acoustic guitar.
Even as it played through it's next two songs, The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros' "Home," the group didn't seem to bother any of the buses' other commuters. One student, Scott Baumann, hadn't even heard of SOMA, but couldn't resist singing along with them.
"I think it adds a good twist to the bus ride," Baumann (sophomore-civil engineering) said.
After another round on the White Loop and a brief set at the 1915 class memorial on College Avenue, the group took the Blue Loop to the Pattee and Paterno Library and called it quits. While their performances weren't quite flawlessly choreographed, SOMA President Abby Bacon (senior-life science) insists that these events are primarily about "[being] goofy" and "[having] a good time."
Local musician Kyle Brashers, who played bongos with the group, had a more blunt answer.
"It's because music is awesome and we should play it every day," he said.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly implied that the Students Organizing the Multiple Arts would have incorporated alcohol into their event if it was held on a night during the weekend. The above article reflects the correct information. The Daily Collegian apologizes for this error.