The Mar­keting Department started uti­lizing Spotify to connect Hillsdale stu­dents kept apart by the pan­demic.
Wiki­media Commons

What kind of music cap­tures Hillsdale’s vibe? Though stu­dents may have dif­fering ideas, they can help cul­tivate Spotify playlists that rep­resent Hillsdale through a Mar­keting Department initiative. 

The Hillsdale Mar­keting Department puts together Spotify playlists to connect with the student body and rep­resent student life on campus. 

Social Media Manager Gianna Green had the idea during remote learning last spring as a way to connect stu­dents sep­a­rated by the lock­downs. Green oversees the student blog, and noticed that there were popular student posts which included links to Spotify playlists. When she saw a QR code on a bottle of wine that led to an accom­pa­nying Spotify playlist, it finalized her decision to make a Hillsdale Spotify account.

 “It’s the perfect way to bring stu­dents together, though apart,” Green said. 

Student Blog Writer and Spotify Manager senior Asa Hoffman is respon­sible for making the playlists, and Green, along with Mar­keting Manager Sterling Wer­tanzl, manage the account. 

“It’s music people at the college are familiar with,” Hoffman said. “It’s meant to be a cul­tural meeting place.” 

During quar­antine, the playlists pro­vided stu­dents with some­thing that reminded them of school. Playlists are inspired by loca­tions and activ­ities on campus. The first playlist is called “Lavender Latte @ Penny’s,” fol­lowed by “Meet Me at AJs” and “Up the Hill.” There is also a game day playlist, a workout playlist, and a road trip playlist.

Recently, Hoffman branched out to dif­ferent styles by making jazz, clas­sical, and decades playlists. 

Wer­tanzl said the team relied on crowd-sourcing to pick the songs.

At first we were taking rec­om­men­da­tions from stu­dents through the college Instagram, which I run, so I could directly add favorites to get spe­cific mood playlists going,” Wer­tanzl said. “Now we are expanding into more rigid genres like jazz, clas­sical, and decades, which Asa brain­storms up.” 

The “Hillsdale’s Own” playlist fea­tures original music from Hillsdale student bands. The last song on “Lavender Latte @ Penny’s” is a Jon Bellion cover by seniors Taryn Murphy and Car­oline Greb. Hoffman hopes to showcase more original student music as more bands record.

The Mar­keting Department has received a lot of pos­itive feedback on the playlists. They are looking to become Spotify cre­ators by uploading more original Hillsdale music, par­tic­u­larly the Hillsdale Alma Mater sung by the choir. Once cre­ators, they will be able to determine how many people are listening.

Wer­tanzl shared what she likes most about the Spotify account. 

I think it really expresses the interests of the student body in a fun way that isn’t geared towards donors or prospective stu­dents,” she said. “It’s just music that Hillsdale stu­dents like, made by Hillsdale stu­dents for Hillsdale stu­dents. There’s a cool kind of ethos that comes with that because it’s a direct rep­re­sen­tation of student life as pre­sented by stu­dents, so it’s a great way to bring campus together over some­thing as simple as music.”