This past Sunday, Oct. 19 at 5 p.m., the Drew University Music Society (DUMS) held its first event of the year: an open mic event in the Concert Hall. The performers were chosen via an audition the weekend before.
“We basically all just showed up on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and you just play your song for them, and they sit there and listen,” Joey Holzman (‘24), a student who auditioned for and performed in the open mic night, said about the audition process. “It’s pretty easy, pretty accessible.”
Both the auditions and the event were organized and run by DUMS president Maddie Ortiz (‘24). “It was honestly stressful. It was a lot. This is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this,” she said when asked how it felt to run the show. “I’m a very organized person, so it kind of came easy to me, but it was definitely a lot of work, time and dedication.” This more technical and managerial position was also an interesting change in pace for Ortiz. “I’m a performer as well,” she said, “so usually I’m the one up there singing the songs, but it was different being behind the scenes. It was fun, though! I would definitely want to do it again.”
The event itself consisted of approximately an hour’s worth of piano, guitar and vocal performances by twelve solo performers and one group. The show put a wide array of musical genres on display including—but certainly not limited to—neoclassical, punk, indie, folk and pop.
Holzman played “Your Body is a Wonderland” by John Mayer, and Angelina Silvester (‘23) played “Orange Show Speedway” by Lizzy McAlpine. “This is the first time I’ve performed vocal stuff in years,” Silvester said, “so it was really cool for me to do it. I was super, super nervous, but I’m glad I did it. I would absolutely do this again, one hundred percent. I love open mics.”
Though the show experienced a few hiccups with technical difficulties, it was an overall pleasant and engaging experience that managed to retain the variety and intimacy of an open mic night (that is often part of the appeal of such events) despite the slightly more formal environment of the Concert Hall. Everyone involved in the event was excited to be there and had an earnest energy about them that helped bring a real vibrancy to the event.
The Drew University Music Society has plenty more events in store for this year. “We’re going to try to have themed open mic nights. Maybe a musical theater open mic night, maybe a ‘battle of the bands’ kind of thing, or maybe Christmas, too, we’ll see,” Ortiz said.
For those interested in getting involved with DUMS, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, and stay tuned for more to come from the Music Society!
Photo courtesy of Drew University Concert Hall.