Communiversity’s open mic night gives students a chance to indulge in their creative side

Music and laughter lit up the Rose Garden as Communiversity hosted the first open mic night of the school year Friday, Sept. 22.

The Office of Communiversity hosts an open mic night each semester to give students a chance to showcase their creative gifts and talents.

“We have a ton of musicians on campus, and I feel like there aren’t any events that showcase people outside of the music programs, so it’s really cool for us to get people outside of that program who are really talented,” said Linsday Hopkins, senior public relations major and performing arts intern for Communiversity. “We wanted to showcase what they’re doing. We made posters and posted on social media to advertise, and we got a ton of people who wanted to sign up right away.”

One of those voices is Riley Smith, a sophomore engineering major who used to perform with his high school’s chamber choir.

Smith, dressed to the nines in a suit and tie, seemed to move the open mic audience as he performed two classic songs, “Dream a Little Dream of Me” and “Luck Be a Lady.”

“I’m not able to do any choirs here because my engineering course keeps me pretty busy, so I try to take up as many [events like this] as I can,” Smith said. “It’s nerve-wracking performing in front of a new crowd because you don’t know what they’ll respond to, but for my first time performing at APU, I thought I’d sing something I sang for my first solo in choir.”

Open mic night also gave students like senior communication studies major Caleb Henry a chance to play his own original music. Though Henry is an experienced performer, he often doesn’t get a chance to perform at school because of his major.

“I used to do some [impromptu] open mic nights with some friends on West Campus every now and then,” Henry said. “There weren’t really any opportunities to play at school last year, so I’m really glad they started doing [open mic nights] officially.”

Henry performed a Rolling Stones cover as well as an original song from his upcoming EP with his punk-rock band, D.K.A. “[Open mic night] is a good way to gear up for our EP release,” Henry said.

Junior commercial music major Nick Mesa and junior music major Joshua Tirtasamudra from Citrus College also performed an original song written by Mesa. “We’ve been friends since high school, and we like to collaborate with each other and perform together,” Mesa said. “We usually like playing that song with a band, but we love playing with an acoustic set like we did tonight, too. I love the chill atmosphere of open mic nights.”

The Performing Arts department at the Office of Communiversity are working on more ways to engage APU students through creative and performing arts. Their purpose, according to the Performing Arts webpage, is to promote a sense of belonging among students through creative performances.

In addition to hosting open mic nights every semester, the Office of Communiversity also hosts the yearly Amp the Theater concert, Last Bash and Expression Nights, where the community can learn about other cultures through food, performances and live music in collaboration with different APU departments and organizations.