Open Mic Night loses popularity

Leaders ask for more participation

Hazel DeHapporte '19 performs at Open Mic Night on November 10th.

Zoe Wellik

Hazel DeHapporte '19 performs at Open Mic Night on November 10th.

Elizabeth Opp, Opinions Editor

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Graduation requirements include art. Senior speeches are frequently given on the perks of taking art courses and branching out through classes from Drawing and Painting to Ceramics. The visual arts are well supported in our community. More than just that, musical arts courses are offered as well; choir, band, and orchestra are all options for students.

However, the more authentic side of the musical courses seems to be missing. Although the courses exist, it is harder for students to express themselves freely while performing under the precise instruction of an ensemble’s director. To fill up this lack in space for free musical expression is Open Mic Night. Sophia Kurowski ’17, emcee, remarks, “Blake is such an intense academic environment that students need ways to express themselves artistically. We have lots of visual arts offered at school, but Open Mic Night is the more musical side to that.”

For those who are unfamiliar, Open Mic Night is an organized yet loosely controlled gathering where students can perform and listen to other’s music. Will Leadholm ’17, a versed attender and performer, describes, “It’s a unique experience because you can get up there and do whatever you want… it’s not a harsh vibe.”

Although the purpose of the night is perform musically, other performances, such as Sam Monahan ’18‘s slam poetry, are encouraged. Chloe Countryman ’19 sums it up, “It’s just fun to see people doing what makes them happy.” Regardless of musical ability, all performances are welcomed.

Over the past few years, attendance and the numbers of performances have begun to dwindle. Kurowski remarks, “My freshman year it was a much bigger deal, I don’t if that’s because we haven’t been publicizing it as much, but I would love to see people come out and participate or just support each other.”

For many people, Open Mic Night seems daunting. Showing vulnerability through expression in front of peers can be scary. But don’t be chased off by intimidation. Countryman says, “It’s an option [for students] to be there, so people will obviously go only if they’re wanting to support their classmates.”

Leadholm agrees, saying, “At Blake, everybody is kind, nobody will judge you. The fear of judgment is why people don’t perform, and that’s kind of stupid. If you want to perform but are afraid of being judged, you’re never going to do it; people at Blake don’t judge.”

With spring just around the corner and next Open Mic Night scheduled for May 21, the evening is a perfect opportunity to get out and perform or just see what fellow classmates have to offer to relieve some stress of finals and discover the hidden talents of others or even yourself.

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