Raging Red is now part of new management, which isn’t affiliated with music.
Raging Red is a performance and ambassador group that travels throughout Utah, parts of Nevada and even to China. The group was housed and under the music department’s oversight, but recent decisions have altered this.
Raging Red is now a function of student services under the direction of Frank Lojko, vice president of student services, and Dean of Students Del Beatty.
Donna Dillingham-Evans, executive vice president of academics services, suggested making the change. She pitched the idea to President Stephen Nadauld, and upon his approval Raging Red switched from the music department to student services.
Merrilee Webb is the director of Raging Red, and she agrees with group’s relocation.
“We started housed in the music department, but we really fit better in student services,” Webb said. “Our role is outreach; we are out in the community.”
The actions and roles of the group were part of the decision to switch to student services.
“A lot of what [Raging Red] is doing isn’t necessarily under the mission of an academic music department,” Beatty said. “It tends to fit better with what we do in student services.”
It will also be beneficial for the music department.
“For the music department, for what they are wanting to do, it will be better for everyone,” Beatty said.
Now that Raging Red is with student services, it will have some new goals and roles.
“We will have more direction for the campus in how we can help them do outreach,” Webb said.
Raging Red’s members are representatives of the DSC and function more as ambassadors than just performers, Webb said. Members will talk to and interact with people before and after performances.
Webb said this is why they go away from campus instead of having people come to them: to be ambassadors of the school.
Raging Red’s traveling arrangements have also been altered to fit its outreach goals of functioning as ambassadors.
Webb said the group will continue to perform in areas previously visited such as Las Vegas and parts of Utah. Also, the group will begin to travel to new areas farther north than before.
“We are going to go places we have never gone before as part of the outreach,” Webb said. “We are going to go to northern Salt Lake City, northern Utah and then into Idaho.”
Webb said the group members will be prepared to be ambassadors as well as performers.
“Our kids need to be trained additionally to the music aspect,” Webb said. “They need to be trained in leadership skills, in protocol, in how to present yourself.”
Raging Red is open to all students who want to try out. Webb said most members are not music majors and that many students with great singing talent come from all fields of study. Talent isn’t the only quality of Raging Red performers.
“[I’m not looking for a] kid who is a great performer but puts off an air of that they can’t be taught or they already know everything or they make it uncomfortable for others around them,” Webb said. “I’m looking for performers, but I’m also looking for an energy of open. They have to be very bright about how things get handled. It’s more than just do they have a soft voice and do they move well.”
Positive vibes surround the change and Webb has no concerns about the group during its transition.
“There have been no negatives,” Webb said. “We have never misrepresented; we have never had a kid arrested. We spend a lot of time teaching them about how to be regardless of how the people are.”
The change came as a surprise to some.
“It all kind of happened suddenly; it was a shock to me as well as for everyone,” Beatty said. “It’s for the better of everyone. It’s definitely for the betterment of Raging Red and what they are trying to do.”
Students who are interested in auditioning for Raging Red can contact Webb via email at [email protected] or visit her at her office in the Old Gym.