Snyder and Students Perform in Germany
July 21, 2016
Assistant Professor of Music Mark Snyder performed fifteen of his original songs with his band Nature Boy Explorer in Schwetzingen Germany on June 11 & 12 as part of the delegation representing Fredericksburg and UMW in Fredericksburg’s German Sister City. Senior music major Austin O’Rourke played drums and stage and played guitar on his own song Almost but Not that he wrote in his Technology for Musicians course in Spring 2016. 2015 music & computer science graduate Becky Brown played harp and performed two of her original songs Formaldehyde which was written in her MIDI Composition course and Underwater that was written in her Audio Recording course. John White, UMW music major and german minor 2013, played bass.
The performance on June 11th was on the main stage for the annual Spargelfest which this year was combined with celebrating Schwetzingen’s 1250th year. The performance on June 12th was at Musikschule Bezirk Schwetzingen which is the local music school.
Dr. Snyder and the students also participated in many of the activities that were planned for the delegation such as lunch and dinners, lectures from Schwetzingen’s archivist, city planner and mayor, visited the fire station and participated in the inauguration of the Square of friendship. The delegation from Fredericksburg consisted of Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw, Cathy Herndon, Jurgen Brat; UMW professor emeritus of German Sammy Merrill, Betty Merrill,, UMW Women’s Rugby coach Bill Lucas and UMW Associate Professor of German Marcel Rotter.
In a addition to performing in Schwetzingen, the group spent time in Cologne, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Mannheim & Hannover Germany, Copenhagen Denmark, Malmö and Scania Sweden.
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SCAD Radio Interview by Brianna Howarth
May 26, 2014
May 16, 2014 in Featured Content, Music
“This is a terrible thing to say; I probably shouldn’t say it, but I really like me.” Mark Snyder, founder and multi-intrsumentalist of Nature Boy Explorer remarks. The band’s name mirrors their sound: journeying through acoustic dreamscapes, folksy meanderings, indie vibes, harp melodies, songs that are “not really old timey songs, but performed in an old timey way;” and wistful, eclectic female vocals. Snyder should like and what he’s created because Nature Boy Explorer is a genre crossing, investigative, fluid band hailing from Fredericksburg, Virginia. Becky Brown, vocalist and harpist, is Snyder’s other half. She’s soft spoken; whereas, Snyder, according to Brown, is: “Probably one of the craziest people I’ve met. He can get a story out of anyone or will tell a story to anyone.” Brown is a student at the University of Mary Washington while Snyder is her professor. Both are musically inclined and together are passionate about the band, and eager for their current tour.
Brown and Snyder also share a similar mindset on performing. Snyder “doesn’t care the venue, it’s about the people.” Snyder and Brown tailor their performance to what the crowd desires. “The last place we played was at Globehopper Coffee in Richmond, Virginia and it was really nice; you could hear a pin drop, but then there have been times where we’re in the bars and it’s really loud and crazy and the people sing the songs back to you.” Nature Boy Explorer will be playing at the Sentient Bean in Savannah, Georgia on Monday, May 19 at 8PM. Snyder notes that “the hardest part is figuring out what the audience is looking for.” Nature Boy Explorer can fit into any set list; recently they followed a hip-hop act in Fredericksburg, and of course, engaged the crowd. Snyder states: “It works best when the audience and you are in the same mind space or emotional state.”
Nature Boy Explorer’s most prominent trait is their energy. Snyder possesses a youthful vigor he had when he “started banging on stuff when I was a little kid. Then I started on trombone, then the tuba, then I did drums.” Snyder is interested in electronic music, and originally constructed Nature Boy Explorer as a rock group, and now has thoughts to change the band, but possibly maintain it’s acoustic prowess. Nonetheless, Nature Boy Explorer will certainly grow and change with Snyder’s spirited character and various interests. There isn’t any musical territory that Nature Boy Explorer cannot conquer.
EP Review from Elephant Talk!
March 10, 2014
Here’s a review of One of These Days from Elephant Talk Indie Magazine from February 4! Can’t believe we missed it. Thanks Leslie!
THE LOCAL SOUND FROM WAY OUT
February 20, 2014
Stephen Hu gave us a nice write up in the Free Lance Star! You can read the story here!
January 3, 2014
Here’s a video our friend Shane from Stars and the Sea shot of us performing Beautiful at the Treehouse Lounge last Thursday.
What we’ve been up to
December 12, 2013
Since we’re heading out for New York in hardly any time at all, we opted to burn our CDs ourselves and make the CD jackets! We’ve got tapes and t-shirts too! -Becky
November 24, 2013
We’re getting our website geared up in preparation for the new album! The new design looks pretty cool, so I’m excited!