From Jazz to 1980s Flashbacks: Who Controls the Music at Brodhead Center?

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With tracks ranging from jazz and classical to pop and the ’80s, who controls the music at the Brodhead Center?

According to Garrett Grimshaw, supervisor of student affairs operations, the answer is simpler than students might expect. Rather than a brain behind the scenes creating specially curated playlists, the songs come straight from the radio.

“Panera [Bread] controls the lower level, then whoever runs The Commons controls the second and third floors, ”Grimshaw explained. ” And there is [a radio] in Krafthouse which they control.

Grimshaw said he thinks The Commons uses “some sort of classic station” and the lower areas use SiriusXM.

“We used [SiriusXM] in the past and we always will, but I think right now we’re focusing on internet radio, ”said Grimshaw, referring to the ground floor of the Brodhead Center, where he works.

Sophomore Ben Armentrout wrote in an email that he appreciates the musical differences between the floors.

“I really like it when they play jazz sometimes in the middle of the afternoon,” Armentrout wrote, referring to the main and upper floors. “Plus, pop music outside [Au Bon Pain] was a bit kitsch, and it looks like Panera has moved in a better direction.

Other students are less impressed, or simply confused, by the music.

“In [the Brodhead Center], I usually hear French or classical music in the ladies’ bathroom, but some guys have told me that they hear German in theirs… a little weird, ”wrote second student Emma Evans-Nolet year in an email.

Junior Hannah Stone studies regularly through JB’s Roasts & Chops section at the Brodhead Center and has noticed frequent repetition of songs throughout the day.

“I will realize that I know all the songs that are being played, and then I will realize that I am humming the same song that was already played about an hour ago,” Stone said. “So I feel like they play the same 10 songs over and over again, especially Olivia Rodrigo, the Jonas Brothers, Billie Eilish.”

Sophomore Eavan Murray “personally [doesn’t] like “hyper-pop, Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo, SiriusXM core” from Brodhead Center musical picks.

“I like 80s music when I’m doing work that I don’t really need to focus on, but otherwise I find it distracting,” Murray said.

Just as different providers control the radio station from their respective floors, each location also controls the volume.

Asked about the volume of music, Grimshaw replied, “There is no rhyme or reason about volume. If it’s too strong, I mean, it’s subjective.


Madeleine Berger

Madeleine Berger is in her sophomore year at Trinity and editor-in-chief of academic news for the 117th volume of The Chronicle.


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