Young acts showcased on ‘Deans List Tour’

The Dean’s List Tour, a forum for underground artists to promote themselves, made a stop in the Little Theatre at St. John’s this past Friday night.  The event featured performances from both St. John’s students and local artists.

The tour started in 2012 and has been making stops at over 25 colleges.  The tour is a chance for underground artists in New York City to showcase their talents.  Currently, the tour is on its second leg, which kicked off on October 18, 2013.

The tour was founded by Nigel “Scott Morris” Guscott, a student at John Jay College.  He created the tour in hopes of unifying students and the New York City community at large.

The tour started at eight schools, but that amount has now tripled since the tour launched in August 2012 thanks to help from Guscott’s peers with connections to other colleges.

While the tour focuses on artists from New York, it has expanded this year and will be making stops at colleges in Ohio, Illinois, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Delaware.

For this season’s tour, over 250 candidates auditioned but only 40 were chosen to perform.

All of the candidates represent a wide spectrum of musical genres, from R&B to spoken word.  Students and artists are always welcome to audition for the tour.

The event at St. John’s featured a DJ from WSJU who entertained the audience before the show and between acts, as well as St. John’s student performers.  Local performers included Z3RO THE COMET, ONSM@SH, and Hieroglyph Thesaurus, among others.

Step Ya Game Up, the St. John’s University step team, started the night with a strong performance.

Captain Anscia Brown, sophomore, said that the team was invited to perform, and they accepted the offer because it was their first chance to perform as part of the tour.

Last year, the team performed on the No Boys Allowed (NBA) tour, the all-female version of Dean’s List.  The NBA tour will take place again this year, and started on March 11th.

The host of the event was Justina Parlay, a second-year communications major at St. John’s.  She is known in the New York City area as Parlay, and is a freestyle spoken word poet.  She helped with the creation of the tour while she was still attending St. Francis College last year.

Parlay also performed a spoken word piece at the event.  She frequently performs at other stops on the tour as well.

Of the tour, Parlay said, “The movement is about being positive and encouraging students to reach for and achieve their dreams.  The tour is one big family, and you get to know everyone when you’re a part of it.”  She also said that representatives from the tour have recently started going to high schools “to motivate younger kids and to tell them that it is possible to go after their dreams.”

Aaron Harris, a junior anthropology major, said that his favorite part of the event was the host, Parlay, and said that she was really entertaining.

Ricardine Laventure, a freshman French major, agreed, saying that she “really enjoyed all of the music, as well as the host.”

For more information, visit www.deanslisttour.com.  To see footage from this year’s tour, search ‘Dean’s List Tour’ on YouTube.

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