By Ashley Wermick | firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of YiTrinity Ray Eme had one mission in mind when he took office: provide St. Augustine with a place to start a music scene. Eme is a Flagler junior who became director December 2008.
YiTrinity is located at Trinity Church on the corner of St. George and King streets. The organization is a ‘music venue with a message.’
It opened last March and is currently run by Flagler students. The venue gives bands an opportunity to gain exposure and a place for locals and Flagler students to listen to live music.
“We use music and art to inspire young people to find their purpose and passion in life,” Eme said.
YiTrinity also allows for photographers and graphic designers to use the venue to build up their portfolios. They offer free live photography and recordings for the bands that perform. They also give bands a chance to sell merchandise during their show.
“The bands get publicity from us that they wouldn’t get in other places,” said Ashley Kastner, communications manager for the group.
The organization does not just cater to local bands. It has bands coming from as far as New York and Tennessee. Many local bands have played more than one show at YiTrinity and most play for free.
“We’re one of the only venues that I can think of that can guarantee the bands and audience,” Eme said. “And that’s what most bands want: a following.”
Over 100 people come for each show and the crowds keep coming back.
“I’m so passionate about getting a music scene started up here,” said Eme, who will sometimes pay out of his own pocket for shows. “I’ve sacrificed almost everything. This is a full time job and I don’t get paid for it.”
Eme believed that St. Augustine was lacking a good music scene and wanted to change things.
“I first came up here and all they had were old men with guitars and street musicians,” said Eme. “[Since starting YiTrinity] I have found more talent in this little town than I did in my hometown Orlando. It is absolutely amazing.”
The organization normally holds shows on the first and last Friday of each month. None of the events have a cover charge.
Because all of the shows are free, the organization does not make a profit, so they depend on word-of-mouth and online sources to advertise. Facebook has become a viable way to get the word out on shows and events and create a fan base for the bands that play at the venue.
“A lot of the Flagler students will come to a show and they’ve never heard of some of the bands,” Kastner said. “Then they go online after the show and look them up and all of a sudden they’ll be fans.”
For more information about upcoming events visit the Web site at YiTrinity.com.