This group of students has come up with their own way to spread musical cheer to those around campus. Photo By Gregory Connolly

If you had a soundtrack to your life, what songs would appear on the playlist? What tune would be humming in the background as you woke up, walked to class or made dinner? While there is generally no music to back our everyday lives like the characters we see in film, every once in awhile, students who live in Hampton Roads do get to have their very own movie moment thanks to a residential trio of musicians.
The group, comprised of sophomores Sam Band and Jeremy Wall and senior Trevor Hughes, has started a musical project they call elevator jams. Whenever they have spare time, the three veteran musicians hop on the elevator in their dorm and serenade riders with original songs written by Band or covers to make the ride go a little smoother.
“It’s to spread the joy of music really,” said Band, who classifies the group’s music as jazzy pop. “It makes people’s days. They usually say ‘thank you very much, you just made my day.’ That’s a quote we get all the time. I think that’s an amazing feeling to spread music.”
Lucky riders might even hear the threesome’s piece de resistance: the aptly-named “Elevator Jam,” in which singer Band improvises lyrics catered toward exactly what’s going on at that moment in the elevator.
“I really enjoy the reactions personally,” said Band, who says unsuspecting riders’ attitudes range from excited and appreciative to annoyed or confused. On a good day for the guys, people will jump on the elevator and dance and request songs. On a bad day people will avoid taking the elevator altogether if they catch a glimpse of the three with instruments in hand. More often than not, people do embrace the musicians.
Moreover, elevator jams, which started in January as a joke, has turned guitarist Band, melodica player Wall and djembe drum player Hughes into Hampton Roads icons.
“We got a lot of good reactions” on the first day, said Band. “Eventually as we kept playing multiple elevators, people would recognize us and if they heard the music they’d just want to get on the elevator to listen. Some people would stay on multiple floors even if their stop had passed just to keep listening to us.”
They’ve even picked up a few diehard fans along the way.
“I feel like Mason needs more people to come out and express themselves musically and be a little more artsy,” said Alex Osipova, a sophomore biology major. Osipova, who first heard elevator jams while visiting her friend Olivia Karegeannes this past Valentine’s Day, is the self-proclaimed biggest fan of the trio.
“I feel like they do it to make people happy everyday,” added Karegeannes, a sophomore communication major.
The group’s main musical influences are Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson — but listeners only familiar with Johnson and Mraz’s radio hits shouldn’t be quick to judge, Wall says.
“With [Mraz] there’s so many different aspects of him,” said Wall, who is a converted Mraz fan. “He has the pop songs, but that’s only 10 percent really.”
“Personally I feel that people have this negative look on Mraz or just pop music,” said Band. “But I feel like what we play is more jazzy than [the Mraz songs] you’ve ever heard on the radio.”
Next year the elevator jams will continue, though the locale will change due to the guys’ new digs. Band will be making a move to Liberty Square, Wall will be in Potomac Heights and Hughes will be a resident advisor in Presidents Park. The three have looked at the Johnson Center as a possible future location of elevator jams.
While Band, Wall and Hughes love to spend their time together spreading music to the George Mason University community, the three say that for them, music is more of a hobby than a long-term career.
“It’s kind of like painting or kind of like poetry, where in a sense it’s really hard to make a living off of it, but it’s not even about making a living off of it,” said Hughes. “It’s about doing it and expressing yourself and that’s kind of where we’re at. We do it because we love it.”
For the time being, the trio’s fans just hope the jams won’t stop.
“They should just keep doing what they’re doing,” Osipova said.