Sophomore English major Sara Proud and senior political science major Kevin Callery make up two twee-folk acoustic music duos—Bong Pong and Parent Teacher’s Dissociation. Performing in Rochester, Avon and locally at open mics, house shows and even in a motel room, this duo has slowly gained a good reputation among the campus’ music community.
Proud rose as a musician by playing the ukulele, keyboard and percussion. She received a ukulele for Christmas in 2010. She taught herself how to play the instrument and has “been playing it ever since.” She also does vocals for their music duos. “I’m glad I get to now play and share my music with people,” Proud said.
Callery began his musical journey by playing clarinet in his middle school concert band and then he learned to play guitar when he was in high school. He then joined his high school’s jazz band.
The two explained that when they met in Geneseo, making music together just felt right.
Their first and favorite show took place in Rochester. They played alongside Skirts, Routine Involvements and Big Fred. “It was such an honor for that to be our first show and to be playing with bands that we already liked,” Proud said.
Their groups play both originals and covers. Callery writes the songs for Bong Pong while Proud writes for Parent Teacher’s Dissociation. “I’m better at writing lyrics, so I usually write out lyrics or a poem and then pick out chords I can sing to,” Proud said.
The two spoke about how they take inspiration from a wide range of sources; for example, a political article about President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. They consider their song “You’re My Obama” as one of their favorites. “It’s always a crowd pleaser, and it’s probably one of our best because it’s really catchy,” Proud said. The duo mentioned that, if they could have dinner with any musician, they’d like it to be Felix Walworth from Told Slant.
Both Proud and Callery noted that their friends here at Geneseo are their most notable influences in their music. “Definitely in our case—and a lot of our friend’s cases—we all kind of influence each other,” Callery said. “A lot of our friends that play around here write music together, help each other play music and get places for each other to play at. We all influence each other a little bit within the community.”
The duo insisted that they will be happy wherever their music takes them and that their aspirations for their music include to, as Callery put it, “just keep playing until people stop asking us to.”
“[We like] having people like our music and get our songs stuck in their heads constantly; that’s the goal,” Proud added.
Proud and Callery’s interest, passion and dedication to their craft can be seen as they speak about their music, which will surely bring them continued success in the future.