The first Ramapo College Music Awards took place on Tuesday night in the H-Wing Auditorium, and was met by a massive crowd; especially because this was the first event of its kind. Ramapo’s most prominent musicians were in attendance in the hopes that they would take home an award.
The show was hosted by the charismatic Cara Daniello who was the glue that held together the performances and award presentations with jokes and anecdotes. The first performance of the night was The Bloodwashed Band who sung a cover of Foster the People’s “Pumped up Kicks” and two original songs including crowd-favorite “Wayward Stranger.” The group had a very successful night, managing to win best duet or ensemble as well as band members Andrew Clayton and Mark Boulanger winning best songwriter and best instrumentalist, respectively. The band was very well received and started the show off on the right foot with their mixture of folk, jazz and indie music, a unique sound.
The first trophy of the night was given to Amanda Fama for best recording artist; Fama went on to perform her original songs “You Again,” “Daisy” and “Marker in the Mile.” The singer and songwriter also took home the prize for best solo act.
Matt Goode, keyboard player and singer, also performed original work including songs “Sunrise,” “The Hit” and “John Doe.” Goode’s music was easy listening and bookended the first half of the show. Before the intermission the award for best singer was netted by Shae Moorer, who beat out four other nominees.
Popular Ramapo group The NJ Gordon Band played their blend of soulful jazz and electric music doing a rendition of “Supersition” by Stevie Wonder, as well as their own hits “Futuristic Visions” and “Free Your Mind.” The audience was able to vote on the artist of the year award and submitted their answers prior to intermission. This was the final award distributed and was won by The NJ Gordon Band.
The recognition for most unique was given to Ehiorobo, who acknowledged the need to play music as a passion. Beast Cult hammered in heavy metal while Dolphin Uppercut Avenger represented the closing act with a mash-up of well-known songs with their own personal twist on them.
The RMAs was a very successful event that garnered over one hundred attendants consisting of people wanting to see the show and nominees. It hosted superb acts of all kinds and validated the hard working musicians on campus, recognizing their efforts with an award show in their honor. This was one of the final events in a long line of happenings that has helped the Ramapo music scene reach exponential growth in the past year. The College Programming Board in conjunction with WRPR and the Ramapo Music Club pulled together a memorable evening that is sure to be replicated next year.