Open Mic at Sunset proves to be a tool for emerging artists

open mix

BY Emily Bontrager

Staff Reporter


Groups of students gathered last Thursday night to showcase their talent at the first Open Mic at Sunset of the quarter.

This crowd slowly grew until the SURC pit was filled with performers, supporters and passers-by who stopped to see what was happening.

About a dozen acts, comprised of both individuals and groups, came to perform in an area free of judgment, according to Campus Activities employee Isaiah Ragland.

“Open Mic creates a safe and fun environment for people to come and showcase their talents,” Ragland, senior music major, said. “It’s really exciting seeing what talents and improvements people bring each week.”

The crowd was very supportive of every student that performed, even if the performer forgot the words or was nervous.

That was freshman aviation major John Rawlinson’s favorite part of the entire event.

“I love that I can just go up and perform music, because that is what music is to me…having fun while doing something I love,” Rawlinson said.

The performers at the event had mostly been singing, or playing instruments for at least  a year, but there were also individuals who have been playing their instruments for more than six years.

Though there may have been a gap in the amount of experience that was present, the audience was supportive throughout the evening.

There were no requirements to participate in Open Mic Individuals that wanted to perform just needed to show up prior to 8 p.m. to sign up for the limited number of slots.

The earlier the performers showed up, the more likely they were to perform.

Junior psychology and criminal justice major Hannah Williams had never performed at an Open Mic before, but attended them previously to watch the other performers.

Though it was something that Williams was interested in doing, it was really her friends nagging her that finally convinced her to sign up to sing.

“I was so nervous. I had never sang in front of a crowd of people like that before,” Williams said.

Williams was quickly welcomed to the stage by other performers and encouraged by the audience clapping along to her song.

Rawlinson said that Open Mic is also a great way to meet new people and make friends with other performers or staff working the soundboards at the event.

All the different techniques that the musicians bring to their performance help other performers learn things they may not have known before.

Students could be seen helping other students before the start of the show with potential roadblocks that could have come up in their performance.

By the end of the night, the performers walked away with a proud feeling about their performance and what they had accomplished.

“I had so much fun once I got over the nerves,” Williams said, “I wish I had more songs ready so I could’ve kept going. This is something that I will definitely want to do again.”