Columbia’s bustling music community ranges from local musicians performing at venues downtown to annual music festivals.

Here are a few ways for music lovers to get involved in this lively community.

Open mic nights

This might be the easiest way to get involved, according to Greg Allers, owner of A Major Music.

“If you can sing and play — or just play — that’s a great way to come forward and start talking to people,” he said.

He suggested making social media posts to get the word out and find other people to perform with if you’re looking to make a band.

Some of the places downtown that offer open mic nights include:

• Fretboard Coffee

Where: 1013 E. Walnut St.

When: 6 to 9 p.m. on the third Friday of every month

Contact:; 227-2233


• Eastside Tavern

Where: 1016 E. Broadway

When: Wednesday nights

Contact: @EastsideTavern

• Columbia Community Gospel Choir

The Columbia Community Gospel Choir is a free ensemble open to everyone in the community, regardless of previous musical involvement.

As described on its website: “CCGC strives to provide a sense of fellowship and camaraderie through gospel music, coming together once a year to perform at the Unity Benefit Concert.”

Applications for the spring 2021 semester are closed, but if you are interested in joining, contact the choir at

• Columbia Community Band

The Columbia Community Band is another way to get involved in local music performances.

Composed of volunteer musicians, the band performs multiple times a year with three indoor performances and multiple outdoor performances in Columbia and the surrounding areas.

The application form can be found on its website,

As of now it is on hiatus but hopes to resume normal activities by fall 2021.

Volunteer• Roots N Blues Festival

Roots N Blues Festival is always looking for volunteers, Allers said. Volunteers get a commemorative T-shirt, a three-day pass to the festival and “the rewarding feeling of making a difference in our community” for their service, according to its website.

This year’s festival takes place Sept. 24-26 at Stephens Lake Park in Columbia.

You can also turn your passion for music into a career at A Major Music.

”If you’re a really good player, but you’ve never taught before and you want to start doing music as a career, we can hire you and train you how to be a music teacher,” Greg Allers said.

Contact A Major Music through its website,, or call 847-807-1800.

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