Local music spotlight: CCM Jazz students in The Wonderlands band release new single

Inspired by jazz and alt-rock, "The Push" music video has more than 26,300 views on YouTube

Local band The Wonderlands recently released a new single and music video, "The Push," that has been viewed by thousands on YouTube. Inspired by genres spanning from jazz to alt-rock, the five-piece band includes two students majoring in Jazz Studies at UC's College-Conservatory of Music.

CCM students Derek Johnson, drums, and Patrick Oakes, guitar, are the latest additions to The Wonderlands. The group was formed when front men Miles Jena, vocals, and Adam Steele, bass, met as teenagers in church. They joined forces with musician Jill Gavigan, keyboard, Oakes and Johnson to form The Wonderlands.

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/pPVEZgrRprM?rel=0

The Wonderlands set out to create a unique sound that can be described as a well-blended fusion of music inspired by genres spanning from jazz to alt-rock.

“Putting together a band and making this happen in a pandemic has been really strange and difficult, but it is amazing what we've been able to accomplish” says Oakes.

“CCM has really taught me more than I ever could have expected to learn without having finished even half of my undergraduate studies yet," he adds. "While it is has been un-ideal to do music school virtually, I am very optimistic for the coming future at CCM and grateful for the opportunities that I have still been presented." 

“The Push” explores the ebb and flow of the changes occurring in current events and digital media. The world is driven forward by all of the changes in technology, the internet and social media — and Generation Z's digital natives grew up with little or no memory of the world as it existed before smartphones. Oakes says the “backdrop of an increasingly artificial and automated society” is important to reflect on, especially after the pandemic put even more focus on digital experiences.

This single and music video are just a peek into the band's upcoming album, "The Push and the Pull." The Wonderlands band is recording more songs for the album — working in and out of the studio over the next couple of months with plans to release more singles in the interim. The whole group is excited about recording the rest of the album and thrilled to see the response from their first single. Learn more about the band on The Wonderlands website

When asked about how his CCM experience has affected his musical growth Oakes says: "I have had the privilege of studying under some truly incredible professors in my time here but one that really stands out to me is my guitar instructor, Brad Myers. Since the very first days of lockdown when the pandemic started, he has been totally generous and creative with how he adapts his teaching to fit the changes that we have all gone through. He exhausted no time lamenting the way that things were going and instead inspired me to put all of my energy into making the best of an unexpected situation as much as I possibly could. Whether it is facilitating virtual hangouts with the jazz guitar studio or bringing in peers of his for virtual master classes or finding a way to safely get together and just to have a forum to still make music with other human beings, he has really been a proactive and positive person to study under during times like these. He’s been such a great mentor to me and a great role model as well, musically and otherwise.”  

Featured image at the top: The Wonderlands in "The Push" music video. Photo/Provided by Patrick Oakes.

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Kelly Barefield

CCM Graduate Assistant, Marketing + Communications

Kelly Barefield is pursuing her degree in Arts Administration at CCM. She currently interns at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and hopes to continue to work at influential arts organizations in the future, where she can apply her passion for music.