Bright Lights

Members of The Greeting Committee share background, progress


Julie Freijat & Amelia Lock, Staff Writers

A dream among some young musicians is to have the opportunity to perform live across the country. For many, it seems out of reach. But for a group of Blue Valley teens, this dream has become a reality.

Juniors Brandon Yangmi and Austin Fraser, senior Addie Sartino and alumnus Pierce Turcotte are all members of the indie-alternative band The Greeting Committee.

The band formed in 2014 and has rapidly gained fame, performing at 96.5 The Buzz Beach Ball in 2015 and various events since.

“It’s surreal to look back on the past year and how quickly things have happened for us,” Sartino said. “We’re so lucky. I don’t mean that in the sense that we haven’t worked for it, but some stars definitely aligned for us to be where we are now.”

Each member has a different variety of inspirations — Turcotte honed in on some bands and genres that motivate him.

“I definitely have lots of punk and rock influence like Coheed and Cambria, Rise Against and the Smiths to name a few,” he said. “However, other genres like electronic, jazz, folk and classical all inspire me to write music.”

Recently The Greeting Committee was given a chance to tour with Kitten, reaching several states. This is the first opportunity of its kind for the band, and Yangmi said he highly anticipated the experience. 

“I was very excited to leave and go on the road, especially because it’s our first time on the road with no parents,” Yangmi said.

Though the band has to deal with the stress of school, they are able to find solace in their music. Fraser said conveying his emotions and connecting with others is what makes music special.

“The amount of expression you can put into music can be really amazing if you are passionate about it,” he said. “The feeling of playing music with others also really connects people, and it’s just so much fun.”

With the band’s growing fame comes more opportunities for them to share their music. The Greeting Committee recently took a two-week tour with Kitten set up by the band’s manager Lazlo, a DJ from 96.5 The Buzz.

“We are supporting Kitten on this current tour, and they are all wonderful people,” Yangmi said. “It is a laid back environment where everyone is sharing equipment and getting along great.”

The band said they already have more events like this planned.

“I’m excited to do some traveling and playing shows outside of KC,” Turcotte said. “We are finally getting the opportunity to tour and go to some pretty big festivals across the U.S.”

The band said they hope this tour will bring them more fans and future opportunities.

“You have to play tours in order to get more tours, which is extremely challenging and frustrating in the beginning,” Sartino said. “However, this tour will give us more credibility than we’ve had in the past.”

Along with the touring and gigs The Greeting Committee has been working on, they’ve been busy writing new songs.

“I am really looking forward to making new music and recording our album,” Fraser said. “It’s been a while since we have released any new music, and I want people to see what we have been working on and get feedback.”

The band said they believed their work seems to have paid off seeing as they have secured a position playing at 2016 music festival Lollapalooza in Chicago.

“I’m looking forward to the adventure that’s going to come with all of this,” Sartino said. “I’ve been given the opportunity to form bonds with many inspiring people and see so many amazing things. I’m going to take advantage of it because who knows when it’s going to end.”