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University Program Council hosts final spring Open Mic Night

By Alexandria Vasquez
On April 25, 2012

  • Allyson Snyder sings an a capella version of Miranda Lambert’s “More Like Her” at Monday’s Open Mic Night in the University Center. Chichi Ama | The Mirror


The University Program Council hosted the last Open Mic Night of the semester Monday at the University Center Fireside Lounge, and there was a bittersweet feeling in the air as the night came to a close.

Since its inception in 2009, Open Mic Night has become a permanent fixture in student life. Every two weeks, it seems to provide a safe space for both seasoned performers and those newer to the entertainment circuit by letting their creative juices flow in front of their peers.
Monday was no exception. Many of those who approached the stage were veterans who didn't seem to have any problems with letting loose or busting out their instruments. 
There was a quirky rendition of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" done on piano and an acoustic cover of Leon Russell's 1971 tune "A Song For You"that had the audience entranced. 
At one point, UPC arts and entertainment coordinator Dan Barton even jumped on stage to help belt out the lyrics to Queen's classic anthem "We Will Rock You."
Aryn Ferris, a sophomore music major, said performing one of her original songs at Open Mic Night provided an avenue for her to get over her stage fright. She has performed with high school choirs and written her own lyrics for the past four years but says she had never performed her own piece until Monday.
"It was nerve-wracking," Ferris said. "But it felt amazing to get back out there." 
Musical duo Ruby Manoles and Devon Hildebrandt also took to the stage with an original piece. Manoles, a freshman Spanish education major, and Hildebrandt, a freshman music business major, say they have classes together but that they actually met at an Open Mic Night. The two hit it off and began writing music together.
"It's an outlet for kind of just getting everything out there," Hildebrandt said. "It transcends language." 
It seems for both of them, the artistic process is something deeply personal that can be shared with the audience.
"When you play music, you can feel the emotion that the artist wants to communicate," Manoles said.
Hildebrandt said in addition to his new friendship, Open Mic Night has offered them new opportunities; he was invited to perform at this year's Winter Jam, an event on campus dedicated to educating the community about mental health.


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