Poser: From School Group to the Stage

Poser Band rehearsal. Lead singer: Kate Schark, lead guitarist: Sofi Kovalenko, and drummer: Lucas Rittenhouse.
Poser Band rehearsal. Lead singer: Kate Schark, lead guitarist: Sofi Kovalenko, and drummer: Lucas Rittenhouse.
Macie Naberezny

Poser is a band led by students, for students. A group of four students who love music came together to create an indie/rock band for everyone to listen to.

The group explained how they started playing together and their connections to music.

Delta senior and bassist Isabella Roberti stated, “The band started for Battle of the Bands. We all hung out during rock ensemble and became pretty good friends. Since we all do something music-wise, we thought it would be fun to keep playing together and perform, and after the performance we decided to keep playing together.”

Battle of the Bands was a competition/concert that took place late last school year, where the audience would decide the winner.

State High senior and guitarist Söfi Kovalenko explained, “Basically we all enrolled in regular rock ensemble, we met last year around May.”

Delta Junior and lead singer Kate Schark stated, “We were all friends and just like, ‘wait, you play guitar, you play bass, and you play drums!” referring to their bandmates.

“The puzzle pieces just fit perfectly together,” Kovalenko added.

“Izzy and Kate knew each other before they met me, but our bassist, Izzy, ended up reaching out to me saying like,  ‘hey would you be willing to be a part of a band we’re trying to create or like to contribute anything?’ and it was a good few months until we actually started planning rehearsals and getting a good group together, we had to like take some people out and put some people in,” Kovalenko shared. They also explained how they found Poser’s drummer, Penn State student Lucas Rittenhouse. “Lucas was always like, ‘I’d love to play!’ and he’s one of the really good drummers that we know and he’s always down for anything and everything.” 

“We all just kind of got together through rock ensemble. We all happen to get along really really well, and so apart from doing music together we would just get food, or spend the entirety of the time that we weren’t doing music or rock ensemble just gossiping and sitting in a little circle and just jamming out together,” Kovalenko shared. 

Each of the members have interesting and unique histories with music.

Rittenhouse shared, “So when I was really little, my dad bought a ‘learn it yourself’ guitar, I learned two notes on that guitar, then my grandma tried to teach my sibling and myself the piano, that also went nowhere.” He goes on to explain that, “I played violin until ninth grade, and I do still play violin but that’s kind of when I stopped really playing, and I got into the band 21 Pilots and wanted to play the drums like Josh Dun, and then it kind of spiraled from there and now here we are!” 

Kovalenko explained that, “I started playing guitar when I was 12 or 13, and at Mount Nittany Middle School, we had short courses on introductions to a lot of instruments, and I started picking up guitar pretty quickly. The summer between 7th and 8th grade, I walked dogs, babysat children, mowed lawns, until I saved up $350 and walked into Robert M. Sides music store and said ‘I’ll have one guitar please!’ and I really stuck with it for two full years, like every day probably 1-2 hours of practicing, and it’s a pretty versatile instrument because you can cross genres, start songwriting, you can pick up different types of guitars like bass, resonators, you can even do ukulele and it’s in the same realm, any kind of string instrument, it was something that stuck with me for a really long time because I felt like nobody around me really connected with music like I did and for some reason I just kept going with it!”

Schark stated, “My mom works at Penn State in the musical theater department and my dad is an actor in New York, so I’ve always been surrounded by music, really.” They further explain that, “I really got into this style [Poser’s style] more during rock ensemble. I love this sort of genre I’ve always listened to and whatnot, so I was like, ‘I wanna do this.’”

Roberti stated, “I got into music over quarantine. There’s this band consisting mainly of a drummer and bass player called ‘I Don’t Know How but They Found Me’ and I couldn’t stop listening to it. I originally wanted to play bass to learn their songs but after I managed to save up some money for a bass, I branched out with my playing. My family also has always been big into music so it’s been a staple in my life, but finding my own style with it really started to happen over covid.”

Over summer, Poser opened for another band, Ozmium, during a concert at Webster’s Bookstore Cafe, a popular spot in Downtown State College. These concerts are organized by State High’s Student Youth Committee and the bands that play were recognized from their performances in Battle of the Bands last school year.

Kovalenko explained the process of Poser getting invited to play at Websters.

“We kind of got recognized through our show with ‘Battle of the Bands’ at the high school,” Kovalenko said. “I guess that was their ‘scouting’, they had a bunch of students go to that show to scout the bands that they really liked and then invited them later into the summer to do shows there.” 

Poser doesn’t have any events set in stone, but Roberti stated,  “Yes we plan on performing more in the future.” 

 

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