Check, Check! Open Mic Night at UNCG

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PC: Incase / flickr

Benjamin Pulgar-Guzman 
Staff Writer 

A sea of people bustled in as the host, atop a mobile stage, welcomed everyone in the ballroom. The event was called Open Mic Night, located at the EUC Cone Ballroom from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 3. It was hosted by Campus Activities & Programs (CAP).

The event started off slowly at first but it soon unraveled, with the first performer doing spoken word poetry. As time went on, more and more people stepped up, ready to showcase their talent. From spoken word to dance to an amazing classical clarinet piece, Spartans showed off their abilities in various expressive mediums. Aside from the spectacular performers, there were also brownies and cookies to eat and drinks to sip on as the show carried on. To the left of the stage were roundtables where games such as Apples to Apples and Life could be played while enjoying some baked goods.

Throughout the event, not only were there marvelous performances of all kinds, but there were also multiple polls that people engaged with on CAP’s Instagram page story. Polls such as “Android vs iPhone” and “Which one is scarier? Snakes vs Spiders?” both resulted in contentious outcomes. We all know, of course, Android is better. “Dude, why do you hate on iPhone?” Trevor Jeffries, 21, asked me, perplexed by my choice in the poll. “You have an iPhone now, you do not have an Android anymore and you still don’t like iPhone?” He is right. My sentiments towards such a debate run deep.

As the acts finished and the event drew to a close, everyone applauded and cheered for anyone that got on stage. As a performer myself, I was curious to learn a little bit more about two singers that took to the stage to do covers of songs they enjoyed.

Linda Vang, a Biology major, gave an electric performance of “Almost is Never Enough” by Ariana Grande. “I always enjoyed singing.” For Vang, music has always been a big part of her life, but it was only just recently that she dove deep into perfecting her craft. “I am taking a voice class… I am also taking a guitar class,” Vang said with a smile.

The journey she is on has brought about an understanding of the beginner’s process and of what it takes to grow and foster one’s talents. “With music, if you are a beginner, just enjoy it and take your time.” As a fellow musician, I understood this. What we would like and what we strive for is to be the best version of ourselves as possible.

This way of thinking, however, can lead to being your own biggest critic, as almost every mistake seems to be emphasized by the part of you that thirsts for perfection, but Vang fights such feelings and thoughts by taking a step back and taking a breath. “Before you are hard on yourself, think of ‘where am I at realistically’ and ‘what steps can I take to improve or just enjoy this?” she says.

Micah Foster, an Arts Administration major, can attest to the many balances musicians must strike. “I have always been surrounded by music.” Foster’s primary instrument is percussion, but at the Open Mic Night, he delivered a smashing vocal performance. For Foster, however, his performance was not in line with his ideologies. “The original song I planned to do was ‘No Tears Left to Cry.’ Today, I was nervous about it, so I went with something that I was comfortable with, which was the issue, because I went with what was comfortable rather than what was uncomfortable,” Foster said, pondering on his response.

Foster’s influences range from Black Sabbath to Bach, all the way to his very own friends. “I also pull a lot from my peers.” Foster continued to talk about his friend Erica who is “one of the best sopranos” he knows. I agree with such a statement, as Erica gave us a performance that was awe-inducing. Vang also influenced Foster’s musicianship. “Linda and I have been friends since my freshman year…we both go off of each other and when she sings, it’s like, ‘Wow!’”

Foster and I, along with our friends, stood outside of the Cone Ballroom after the event was over, uniting and befriending one another over the beauty that is music. The event created an atmosphere that enabled exactly that type of interaction to flourish.

The next event, with the help of ACE, will be the Fall Fest from Nov. 5 through Nov. 11. Check out the CAP website for more information!



Categories: Features, Uncategorized

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