Have you heard The Lawn Chairs?

Ashley Green

A group of landscape architecture students, faculty and alumni have an extracurricular hobby one might not expect: they’re in a band.

The Lawn Chairs have been performing together since 2012, and include Michael Martin, Mike McCullough, Kyle Schellhorn, Molly Murtha and Morgan Van Denack.

The members, aside from McCullough, met on the annual Traveling Savanna Studio. The studio, a 2nd year landscape architecture learning community, goes on two three-week-long road trips to different savanna landscapes in the U.S.

Michael Martin, associate professor in landscape architecture, was driving a group of students when two of them began to sing along to the radio.

The singers in question were Molly Murtha and Morgan Van Denack, who are now seniors in landscape architecture. This particular moment is credited with the band’s beginning.

“These two initiated the band,” Kyle Schellhorn, senior in landscape architecture and fellow band member said. “They just started singing together and then Michael just was like ‘Oh, well we have a band here.’”

“Kyle packed his bags inside his drum,” Van Denack said of the trip. “So, naturally, that brought about a ‘Why do you have that? What is that thing?’ and so even if he didn’t want to be apart of the band, he was going to be.”

McCullough, who graduated with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture in 2011, wasn’t there for the trip. He went when he was a second year student as well, back in 2007.

McCullough now runs a nonprofit landscape architecture consultant firm in St. Paul, Minnesota and plays with the band whenever he has the chance.

The group worked well together from the start and there is no shortage of inside jokes and laughs among them. Each member is compatible and works together for the bigger picture.

The band doesn’t plan to become famous, but they recently recorded for the first time in a studio.

The album that they are working on will consist of a compilation of the band’s favorite originals.

They have no shortage of originals to choose from. Before the band had started, Martin already had penned a queue of songs that they choose from. In more recent time, Van Denack and Murtha have written others.

The group has played dozens of local, small-venue performances.

In May, the remaining members of The Lawn Chairs, aside from Martin, will graduate and likely move far from Ames to pursue their degrees. Martin will spend the spring semester in Rome, reducing their already-limited time together.

Until then, they’ll continue lining up gigs this fall and enjoying their remaining time together.