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Mat Kearney to headline 12 Pines

Mathew “Mat” Kearney will headline the JEC’s annual festival, 12 Pines, in a performance on April 28, 2012, at Clemens Stadium.

Kearney is a widely known American acoustic artist who released four albums, including his latest, “Young Love,” through Columbia Record. Kearney has recorded four Top 20 hits for the Adult Top 40 Chart. Kearney’s music has been featured on popular television shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “One Tree Hill,” “Kyle XY” and “The Vampire Diaries.”

“We have done lots of student surveys, and this year, bringing the headliner was all students, a student voice, student-driven,” CSB JEC Co-Chair Bridget Reilly said. “The opportunity was there (to book Kearney), and we grabbed it because we know that there’s a large following for (Kearney).”

Kearney has toured with John Mayer, Owl City, Sheryl Crow and Train as well as headlining VH1′s “You Oughta Know Tour.” His songs have been featured on the movie soundtracks of “Soul Surfer” and “Ramona and Beezus.” Kearney has been a musical guest for David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Ellen DeGeneres and Carson Daly.

“We want something that’s appealing to all of CSB/SJU so that we get the most turnout we can,” JEC Concerts Chair Matt Semerad said. “With this year, with any type of headliner, you run the risk of having a select crowd show up.”

12 Pines is a day-long festival that replaced popular CSB/SJU music festival “Pinestock,” which formerly brought bands such as STYX, Ben Folds and Jack’s Mannequin to campus. Due to rising band fees and the need to diversify, Pinestock was discontinued after 2010, in favor of a more variable experience. 12 Pines offers more options for student involved and participation that do not rely on a single artist, or even single concert.

“Every year, we want to do something that’s different (with the Pines tradition), so people want to show up,” Semerad said. “If people don’t like it one year, they might like it the next year. So with this year, we wanted to do some type of a headliner.”

JEC conducted student surveys over a period of the last five years in order to make decisions like bringing a headliner to campus.

“We’ve had comments like, %u2018How come University of Wisconsin-Madison can get such-and-such band?’, and really, we’re nowhere near that,” SJU JEC Co-Chair Sam Bauchle said. “It would be fiscally irresponsible for us to go for a larger band, because it would eat up our entire year’s budget.”

The decision was made to invite Mat Kearney to perform at 12 Pines because he offers an exciting performance at an affordable price. The concert will be done as an acoustic set during the evening on the football field. JEC felt this decision was both economically feasible and of a genre which most students would enjoy.

Kearney’s performance will be free and open to the public, keeping with JEC’s mission to uphold the Benedictine values of community and hospitality. The show will begin with opening artist Cris Cab. 12 Pines will also feature performances by talent show and Battle of the Bands winners, sporting events and a community barbecue.

“The whole idea behind the 12 Pines day-long festival is that there’s something that every student can find, feel a part of and want to enjoy and attend,” Bauchle said. “If students haven’t heard of him, I thoroughly encourage you to go and, even if it’s just for a half hour, listen to him. I guarantee you will stay longer.”