September 20, 2019

MSM Spotlight: Meet the editors of the Polar Bear Press

Students Alexis Seminario, Lilly Cadow, and Mindy Holthe are the founders of a new student newspaper Polar Bear Press, named after MSM’s beloved mascot, Manny.

We sat down with Editor in Chief Alexis (BM ’20, Classical Voice) and Managing Editors Lilly (BM ’20, Classical Voice) and Mindy (BM ’21, Classical Horn) who reflect on the release of the first issue, as they plot the paper’s future.

Tell us how the idea for the Polar Bear Press came about.

Alexis: At the end of my sophomore year, I started thinking about how I wanted to bring people together to be a part of something that would inform students and produce news, not just for the school, but about things that are happening in our community and the world at large. I figured a newspaper would be the best way to do this, so we can consolidate information into one source. The Polar Bear Press is all about students – informing them, giving them a voice, and just brightening their day with fun content.

Why is it important for students to have a voice?

Alexis: Whether you’re a voice major, or a horn player, or a jazz major, any kind of facet of art that you’re here for, we’re all trying to communicate something through our music. As an institution, there are so many interesting things happening every day that students want to draw attention to, and there’s no real way to do that right now. With the newspaper, I want to discover my peer’s interests aside from their major, whether that be a cool hobby or thoughts and ideas that they share through writing. It’s so important for us to be heard!

Lilly: I think that it’s important that students have a voice because students are the reason that this school is here. The Polar Bear Press is an opportunity for us to all be on the same page as a community. This paper will be the first place where we can get information from other students that’s open and available to all.

Mindy: One of my main goals for the newspaper is to consolidate the different sources that students get their information from into one place. We have the performance calendar that advertises the school’s concerts, but the newspaper will include community and student lead events as well. We want to make something that people can look at our calendar or articles and find a community that they may not know about.

Mindy Holthe (left), Alexis Seminario (middle), and Lilly Cadow (right). Photos by Toby Winarto (BM '19, MM '21).

How can a student get involved with the Polar Bear Press ?

Lilly: Anyone can get involved! We want it to be a place where anyone can contribute and help out in some way. You can email us at newspaper@msmnyc.edu if you want to join our team.

Alexis: Personally, I’ve been recruiting people just by talking with them. I encourage anyone who wants to be more involved at MSM or feels like they have an opinion they want to voice, join us and contribute in whatever way you can!

What can we look forward to in upcoming issues?

Mindy: We’re going to have a column for the Alumni Association, which will be great. We’ll also have a running column that will change depending on the theme of that issue. For example, this week is Suicide Prevention Week so we’ll coordinate with the mental health counselors on a column. We’ll also have fun things like Manny’s Recipes which are simple enough to cook in your dorm room and MSM memes or comic strip submissions.

Lilly: October is LGBTQ History Month and National Coming Out Day is on October 11th, so we’re hoping QueerPBS (Queer People for the Betterment of Society) will contribute. It’s also Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so we’ll be reaching out to It Stops Here for that. We are trying to get free press tickets for students so that they can go to concerts around NYC and then write a review for our paper.

Alexis: We’re just really trying to highlight all of the student organizations here at MSM. We want to talk about the importance of these issues year-round, not just when there’s a month or day dedicated to it.

“I think that it’s important that students have a voice because students are the reason that this school is here. The Polar Bear Press is an opportunity for us to all be on the same page as a community.”

Classical Voice, BM '20

You mentioned earlier that you wanted to highlight non-musical interests or hidden talents. What are your hobbies outside of music?

Lilly: I build sandcastles. They’re not just little simple buckets of sand, I create arches and villages and everything – it’s really fun!

Mindy: My major is classical horn, but I also play the piano. I’ve played solo and accompanied various ensembles, choirs and orchestras. I also love to sew and paint.

Alexis: I really, really love to read. I’m reading a self-help book right now, but I also love to read poetry. In February I’ll be presenting my MSM Student Project in Performance which is a commission I’m working on with a composer friend of mine based on Dorothea Lasky’s new book of poetry, Milk. I’m very excited about it!

 

Connect with MSM’s Polar Bear Press

Instagram: @polarbearpress

Email: newspaper@msmnyc.edu