6 bands from all over Germany unleash their potential

Die Band JAM beim Coaching.
Die Band JAM beim Bandcoaching.(Foto: Lena Bils)

Six student bands from all over Germany were guests in Frankfurt on the weekend of March 15 to 17, 2024 - they had traveled from Weimar, Rostock, Stuttgart and Würzburg, among others, to take part in the HfMDK's first band camp. Together with professional coaches, they worked intensively on songwriting, arrangements, instruments and performance. From female singer-songwriters to a male a cappella quartet and a five-piece band, a wide variety of formations, genres and styles came together here. The young musicians were able to exchange ideas, network and, above all, learn a lot in a very short space of time. Most of the groups came with their own songs, which they continued to work on over the weekend. Inspired by the creative atmosphere on site, completely new songs were also created.

»After arriving with a suitcase full of cover songs, we left on Monday with a small bag of our own songs. We are very grateful to the coaches, especially Fabian [Sennholz], for giving us a space for unrestricted creativity and intensive work on our own style. We developed more in one weekend than we did in the whole of last year.«JAM from Rostock

Learning from professionals from the band scene

In addition to initiator Fabian Sennholz, the coaches included the successful singer-songwriter Alin Coen, guitarist and HfMDK lecturer Daniel Stelter (e.g. Heavytones), the singer, choirmaster, composer, arranger, producer and professor at the HfM Weimar Juan Garcia, the drummer and HfMDK lecturer Oli Rubow (including Hattler/De-Phazz/Die Fantastischen Vier) and the bassist and HfMDK deputy professor Martin Bosch.

After getting to know each other on Friday, the band workshops and individual lessons with the coaches took place on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday evening there was also a jam session where the bands could share their musical worlds and get to know each other better.

» The coaches not only supported our musical development and inspiration, but were also very personal and caring. It's great to get to know other bands from Germany and to observe the development of yourself and everyone else over the course of a weekend. My highlight was the joint jam session and the final concert was also a lot of fun. «Nora Leoni Zeylman from Frankfurt
Nora Leoni und ihre Band auf der Bühne.

Fabian Sennholz developed the idea for the band camp and thus for the bands' growth spurt. He is a professor of ensemble work at the HfMDK and keyboardist and musical director for Tim Bendzko. For the band camp, Sennholz has set himself the goal of helping the student bands to unleash their potential and find their own language. Fabian Sennholz sees himself primarily as an enabler, as he explained in an interview with Hessischer Rundfunk (hr).

A crowning finale

At the final concert on Sunday evening, the audience finally got an impression of what the camp had made possible. The bands presented themselves and what they had been working on. Both the program and the room were packed: the small hall of the university was literally bursting at the seams and listeners of all ages cheered on the bands and their songs.

The Coach Band kicked things off. The lecturers came together for a one-off performance to perform three songs by Alin Coen. She had taught the young musicians songwriting over the weekend.

Alin Coen coacht Johanna Philipp am Klavier.
Johanna Philipp im Coaching mit Alin Coen.(Foto: Lena Bils)

Then it got quieter at first: singer-songwriter Johanna Philipp from the HfM Weimar tried out a short, introspective song that she had just written that weekend for the first time in front of the audience, all alone at the piano, before using her loop station for a second song. She was then joined by students from the HfMDK, giving her the opportunity to perform her soulful songs with a full band for the first time.

Another singer-songwriter - Nora Leoni from the HfMDK - added a dose of soul to the evening. She and a guitarist enchanted the audience with Nora's own music, which she had reworked and rearranged over the weekend.

» We came up with completely new ideas and approaches that really helped us move forward. It was so great to meet so many lovely people from other cities, both musically and personally. A very enriching weekend. «4xDelay from Frankfurt
4xDelay performt beim Abschlusskonzert des Bandcamps

It became a party in the hall when the HfMDK's own a cappella quartet 4xDelay performed and swept the audience off their seats. With two of their own songs and a cover, they quickly became crowd favorites with their good vibes (and voices).

NURIA NOBA & BAND from the HMDK Stuttgart also created a special atmosphere. With their R&B/neo-soul sound and a buttery-soft voice, alternating with biting spoken word, NURIA NOBA's songs invited the audience to reflect and dream.

The band JAM from the HMT Rostock would not have thought it possible on Friday evening to be on stage on Sunday with three of their own songs - but that's exactly what happened. The modern German pop of the three musicians, supported by coach Oli Rubow on drums, got the audience back on their feet and singing along.

The band Groovedivision from the HfM Würzburg had a mix of covers and their own songs in their luggage. "I don't care, it's no longer my problem / Everyone's moving on and only you're still standing" from their song, which was written during the band camp weekend, certainly resonated in the ears of many listeners.

» Working with the coaches was new and instructive for us, there was a lot of eye-to-eye communication, consultation, questions and lots of input. For me personally, the concert was the highlight of the whole band camp: we all had a direct comparison with the song performances from Friday evening and it was really exciting to see the developments. Above all, the mutual support between the bands was great and gave everyone a lot of pleasure. I am very grateful that we as a band had the opportunity to take part in the band camp and I hope that something like this will continue to take place and be offered. «Groovedivision from Würzburg
Die Frontsängerin von Groovedivision singt bei der Probe ins Mikrofon.

Sustainable transfer of knowledge and skills

The offer was mainly aimed at music students who are training to become teachers at schools and can later apply what they have learned in their classes and courses. HfMDK students were able to take part in some workshops as listeners. The Bandcamp was an innovative network meeting for bands of students from German universities and is intended to be the prelude to further events: Mutual "visiting concerts" at the other universities of the participants should help the bands to consolidate and further expand their network.

Alin Coen erklärt der Runde etwas.
Singer-Songwriterin Alin Coen gibt der Runde junger Musiker*innen ihren Input mit.(Foto: Lena Bils)


The Bandcamp was kindly sponsored by the Frankfurter Sparkasse Foundation. Thanks to this support, participation was free of charge for the bands.

NURIA NOBA & Band beim Abschlusskonzert des Bandcamps
(Foto: Laura Saxler)


More visual impressions of Bandcamp can be found on Instagram!

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