The Sept. 14 open mic night, hosted by the SUNY New Paltz Union Programming Council (UPC), was a success for the audience, performers and event planners. Set in the spacious multipurpose room in the Student Union Building, the sounds of singing, guitar playing and poetry reading echoed within the auditorium-esque room, which enhanced the sound experience of the performances without the use of much electronic equipment.
Singing and guitar playing marked the first three performances and entertained a folksy vibe to the catchy lyrics. Following was a variety of ukulele-playing with singing, poetry reading covering romantic break ups, feminist issues and connections between science, aeronautics and life experiences.
Fourth-year English major Sarah Vinciguerra hopes audience members can take away something worthwhile from her slam poetry.
“I hope that they appreciate slam poetry,” she said. “It’s great for someone to get the live experience.”
Third-year elementary education major and vice president of UPC Nicole DeRobertis shares similar thoughts on how these types of events benefit participating students.
“[UPC] creates events on campus for all students, to get more students involved with activities going on around campus,” DeRobertis said.
The UPC plans events far in advance and listens to the student body about what is enjoyable for students. These events are for students who don’t like to party on weekends, or want to experience something new and meet new people without pressure.
“The UPC is organized for the whole campus, for the students who don’t go out at night and want something else instead,” DeRobertis said.
The UPC may open doors for students who are trying a new interest and may be inexperienced or nervous to perform on an expert level.
Since the crowd cheered on new performers as they walked away relieved but smiling, free events like these will continue in future semesters. DeRobertis explains this is the UPC’s second time doing an open mic night, which shows group interest in such programs.
UPC program developer Jeannette LaPointe is hopeful that this will take place again.
“I think open mic night was incredibly successful,” she said. “I always admire others for their talents and artistic abilities and watching some of the students perform was so inspiring. There are a lot of impressive talents out there and hosting an event that showcases those within the student body feels awesome. We will definitely offer an event like this again, most likely next semester.”
Even impromptu performers can get a go at it and perform their art of choice.
Tai Jasper, known as “DJ TJ,” said she wasn’t expecting to do this, it was a suggestion of a friend. She ended the night with skilled dances and her rap song of choice, leaving the audience surprised in a good way; she provided a light-hearted balance to end the night’s amusement.
LaPointe had a piece of advice for future performers:
“The only advice I would give is to come prepared and don’t hold back,” she said. “It’s more than okay to be shy or feel nervous but always know that the crowd is there to support and encourage you.”