Senior Gets Band Back Together for COE Presentation

Senior Christian Alldredge and his band, Midwest Telegram, performed for upper school students during his Certificate of Emphasis capstone presentation on Friday, Jan. 7.
Midwest Telegram is familiar to many upper school students and Barstow alumni. On lead guitar and vocals, Alldredge is joined by recent graduates Miles Luce '20, Meghana Lakkireddy '21, Willow MacIvor '21 and Rishi Malay '21. Although some members are now in college and living in other cities, the band is still together and playing a series of shows during January.

In September, Midwest Telegram released a self-titled EP and the start-to-finish process formed the basis of Alldredge's COE project.

"Christian's original goal was to create and produce a song, but as he learned more, and engaged with the process, his vision grew to include releasing and distributing an EP, collecting streaming statistics, and performing live for the Barstow community," COE coordinator Kay Hopkins said. 

Alldredge opened his presentation with Midwest Telegram playing its most popular track to date, "The Girl with the Dark Purple Hair" — one of five original songs that blend indie, emo and alt-country melodies with lyrics about love, life and growing up in the midwestern suburbs. 

After the performance, Alldredge described the band's creative process and the challenges of self-producing and releasing an EP. He also talked about performing live, describing several of Midwest Telegram's performances from backyard and basements to well-known music hubs like Lawrence's Replay Lounge and The Jazzhaus.

"It's all about connections; where you play and who you play with," Alldredge said of the band's growing success. The EP has performed well on Spotify since its release just over three months ago, garnering more than 3,500 streams. "It's been impactful to see the public response."

His advice to several of the students in the audience who had questions about starting or growing their own bands? "Just do it. Save your embarrassment for later and get on stage."

Alldredge is the second senior to present a Certificate of Emphasis capstone this year. Divya Dendi completed her project on biodiversity in October. COE is a signature program at The Barstow School in which students identify an issue in their field of interest and develop a viable plan to solve it through research and original work.

"The COE program facilitates the realization of the individual dreams and accomplishments of our students in a way few other opportunities can," Hopkins said. "I am so fortunate to be a part of that process, and to have the opportunity to work with students like Christian."
    • Midwest Telegram is comprised of (left to right) senior Christian Alldredge, Willow MacIvor '21, Meghana Lakkireddy '21, Rishi Malay '21 and Miles Luce '20.

    • Alldredge began his COE project with the intention of writing and producing a song, but adapted his work into helping create an original EP.

    • A capstone presentation in front of faculty and peers is the culmination of the COE process.