Participants perform their creative gifts at bi-annual event

A large crowd shuffled slowly into the Cougar Dome on Friday to watch their fellow students perform at the bi-annual Open Mic Night. 

The event, which was organized by Campus Life, allows students to reveal their talents and build confidence by performing in front of a supportive crowd.

People performed with many different talents during the event. Besides performers who sang with traditional accompaniments such as guitar or piano, there was a stand-up comedian, a rapper, a dancer, a vocal impressionist, and a spoken word poet. 

The majority of those who chose to perform music wrote their own songs. One such performer, Isabella Adad, said she enjoyed seeing fellow students get up on stage and perform without the fear of judgment, including one of the singers who covered the song “Intentions” by Charlie Burg. 

“I live for harmonies, so I loved the harmonies…I loved the acoustic setup,” Adad said. 

Adad’s own music drew the attention of an attendee who admired the honesty that her lyrics contained, including the line, ‘Why am I holding onto you/ When I’m holding onto nothing.’ 

“It’s such a good love song,” said junior computer science major Kenny Gao. “It’s very relatable and something that I’ve lived and experienced.” 

Gao said it was satisfying to see the performers share their talents and gifts with the community. 

One of the participants in the event, Shannon Burns, performed voice impressions to a background music track. When she reflected on when her desire to participate in this event began, Burns felt that God had called her to showcase her talent.

“God convinced me to do it,” Burns said. 

“When I was about ten or twelve years old, my mom’s voice was kinda gravelly and she did Scooby-Doo and Elmo … now I started doing it,” Burns said. If I hear something funny a cartoon character says, I automatically mimic it.” 

Many of the participants said they would definitely participate in the event again, including Burns who said she would do a longer song with more characters. 

“I’m not doing the same ones,” Burns said. “I’m going to go all out, and there’s no way anyone can stop me.” 

Adad said she would perform at Open Mic Night again, but hopes they keep the location of the event at Cougar Dome rather than the lawn of 7 Palms.  

“Outside in seven palms, there was a little more expectancy because everybody could hear what you were doing,” Adad said. “Here, I felt like this was a safe space so I really liked that.”