Student DJ hosts dance club in Plumley Armory

“I am DJ Syntha 6 and I approve this message.” On May 3rd, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., Norwich University’s Plumley Armory will transform into an 18-and-older dance club for the “Summer Presence.”

Sponsored by the Student Veterans Affairs Council and pulled together by Paul Jacob “DJ Syntha 6” Cortez and crew, the Summer Presence is “nothing like Norwich University has ever seen before,” said Alex Palmer, 20, a biology major from Esbo, Etelä-Suomen Lääni, Finland and a member of the planning staff.

Cortez, 22, a senior studies of war and peace major from Houston, Texas, is a local sensation under the pseudonym “DJ Syntha 6.”  With his own music entertainment company called Bring the Noise Entertainment, consisting of his team of Norwich students, he has put his name out in conjunction with various events, such as the upcoming “Summer Presence” on the NU campus. The team of NU students working to make the Presence’s appearance on campus includes Pfc. Jennette Chartrand, Alex Palmer, Alex Frank, and 2nd Lt. Thomas Cooper “DJ Nati” Baucke.

Each person took an active role in the advertisement, coordination, and production of the Presence. “This (event) would not have happened without them,” Cortez said.

Every Tuesday and Thursday for three weeks, the team met for “sync meetings” to coordinate the event itself and to meet with representatives from various organizations around campus, such as various sports team and the Corps of Cadets.  “This is for the entire university first and foremost,” Cortez said.

The entire university includes the administration also. “If you get the administration involved, you are going to do well,” said Cortez, who personally invited NU President Richard Schneider after receiving an award for student leadership.  Schneider’s support is a source of motivation for the event’s success, Cortez said.

Each of the team members took part in the marketing and advertisement of the Presence. “Social media was a huge part of (the event’s public affairs),” said Baucke, 21, a junior accounting major from Cincinnati, Ohio, and a special guest performer as “DJ Nati.”

“I think the main reason for doing this (event) is to give people something to do,” Palmer said.  The day before reading day will be a safe way for students to celebrate the end of the year without having to leave campus.

As students, Cortez and his team realized the major gripe among the student body: a lack of fun things to do in the local area. “(It is about) being able to answer the call that people always complain about never having things to do,” Cortez said.

From this problem plaguing the university and his passion for his music, Cortez came up with the idea to use his alter ego, DJ Syntha 6, and his connections to host an on-campus dance party.

“I started producing music early on,” Cortez said.  At the age of 15 he began performing locally for quinceañeras, a traditional Mexican coming-of-age birthday party for young girls.  After getting familiar with a few entry level disc jockey programs, his career took off on the music scene.

How DJ Syntha 6 earned a name currently associated with a protein shake harks back to his disc jockey debut. “When I first got into the industry and DJ-ing, all of my music was really centered around a synthesis of different types of music,” Cortez said.

After considering his style, he took on the pseudonym DJ Syntha 6.  Later on, as he became more interested in physical fitness, Cortez discovered the protein shake bearing the same name.  “At that point, it was more comical than anything,” he said.

While attending NU this current semester, Cortez dove back into the music business. “I was approached first by the (NU) baseball team  while I was working on some music  about doing an event for them,” Cortez said. “We did very well. When I noticed how well the event went I decided to get back in the game and to start DJ-ing all over New England.”

While maintaining a good academic standing as a studies of war and peace major, he is a platoon leader in the Vermont National Guard, and a mentor to other lieutenants from the NMMI (New Mexican Military Institute).

Outside of his academic and military life, he performs as DJ Syntha 6 at The Knotty Shamrock and The Southside Tavern as well as various New England gigs reaching out as far as Boston.

Cortez likes mixing different types of music, particularly electric dance music (EDM), that “get people moving.” Adding in different excerpts and recognizable bits of popular videos is one of his favorite ways of keeping a crowd involved in the music.

His music is more than something patrons can dance or simply listen to, he said.

“It’s an art, but more importantly, its a passion,” he said about his pasttime. “I feel in a way like a conductor of popular music.”

Cortez says that he gains inspiration for his own melodic creations through listening to the works of  other such artists, those who paint pictures with sounds and beats, rather than paint brushes.

Though the new disc jockey is thriving in the music industry, his future lies with another passion that he will embrace come his graduation in May: service to his nation.  “My primary (focus) is that I’m active duty Army Infantry Officer,” Cortez said. “That’s always been my main passion in life.”

Aside from giving the student body and local community entertainment, the crew from Bring the Noise Entertainment has found another major benefit by gaining experience in the business world.

“For us,” said Frank, 20, a sophomore biology major from Medford, N.J., “its more of a real -world situation.”

“This has become like a part- time business for us,” Baucke said, who plans to use this experience alongside his degree in accounting.  “This is real.”

For Chartrand, 20, a junior biology major from Poestenkill, N.Y., she hopes to use her new skill sets in planning and marketing to work on campaign trails.

“It’s all students (who planned the event),” Chartrand said.  Pulling together a large production, the Summer Presence, as a group of students makes the experience more valuable.

Looking ahead into the future, the student team working to create a great college experience for the student body created a learning situation for themselves.  “I think it’s a great life experience,” Frank said.

More information on DJ Syntha 6 and the Summer Presence can be found at www.facebook.com\DJSyntha6.

“Anyone who doesn’t show up is going to regret it,” Cortez said.

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