Brigdon Markward, 20, is the new music director at the Holland Project, Reno’s youth-oriented nonprofit arts organization. He’s responsible for all the booking for the organization’s music venue. He also plays guitar and sings in the band City Wolves. For more information, visit www.hollandreno.org.
I haven’t seen City Wolves yet, but everybody says good things. Tell me a little bit about the band.
We’ve been around since we all moved up here to Reno from Nevada City. All of us, except for our drummer, are from Nevada City. We all went to high school there, and we moved up here and started playing music together. We kept showing each other new stuff and started listening to a lot of different stuff. When we were in high school, we used to all be really into ska. We were all in a ska band together, but when we moved up here, we tried to start anew, music-wise. So we got really into post-punk, post-hardcore, shoegaze, and tried mashing all of those together. I feel like we’re all over the place.
Why did you move here from Nevada City?
For college. I was full-time for my first year, and then I took a year off—there was some weird stuff with the financial situation. … Now, I’m going back as much as I can.
When did you take over the music director position?
What attracted you to the job?
Going to Holland shows and trying to find a good place to play music up here. And we got invited to play Holland for some benefit thing, and then afterward, Clark [Demeritt, former music director] hit us up for a few other shows, and then we just started coming all the time, and we got a real appreciation for the role that Holland has in the community.
Will you describe that role?
Giving the high schoolers and college kids a place to express themselves artistically—that I really didn’t see anywhere else. You have small galleries and places here and there, and other small venues, but you don’t have anywhere else that’s bringing through all of the bands that the kids listen to and all the artists the kids are interested in. But it’s not just that. It’s fostering that creativity. … Keeping a place where people can play music, and people can have creative freedom over their music I think is really good—whether or not there’s a huge following for what they’re doing. And you’ll see that sometimes—smaller shows, bands that are a little out there, trying stuff that doesn’t really have a following here.
What do you want to accomplish as music director?
Breaking through to the university is the big thing right now. When I was up there, I had heard about Holland maybe once or twice, before I started making a point to check the calender and go to shows regularly. A lot of people up there play music and would like to be in bands, would like to get to know people who are interested in the same music as them, but they just don’t know there’s an outlet for that.