Mochella kicks off homecoming

Morgan Nagle

John Locke and the Student Life organization conducted the first Mochella music event prior to the annual homecoming celebration. Robert Morris University alumni Jasmine Tate and Frank Vieira put a concert on the Nicholson Front Lawn on Sept. 15 as they began the celebrations of Homecoming Weekend. The excitement was flowing through them prior to the performances, along with nostalgia from returning to their alma mater. The performers found their passion for music here at RMU, making their performances more impactful.

Jasmine Tate first found her love for music her freshman year when she was on the search for churches in the area and everyone was telling her how she had a gift and would be an artist. Confused, she took to her mentor to help guide her in what she should do. She used her faith to make a decision that has led her to where she is today.

Not long after her decision, she remembered sitting in her freshman dorm room and said, “God started to teach me how to play the guitar.” Seven years later, Tate is still performing and said, “It gives me the opportunity to provoke people, to hope.”

Frank Vieira’s passion started also in his dorm at RMU, but with a guitar he built by hand in an art class in high school.

That statement and project led to many hours playing in his dorm room, teaching himself how to play, and creating many songs. Robert Morris has given Vieira many important people in his life, such as his bass player and wife.

“I better learn what I’m doing with it,” said Vieira. “I’m really grateful for the opportunity to play. It’s a really cool opportunity.”

Dillan Gaydos attended the event with the “folk, rock, hop (hip-hop) and soul” and “contemporary country” artists and said, “The people who were there were definitely into it.”

Both artists found their paths by going to open mics and similarly are grateful for what Robert Morris has offered them during their time here and after. Tate said, “I felt encouraged and empowered by the professors, staff and the students, and it’s just cool when you can find empowerment in more than one aspect of your life.”