The Madison Community Arts Center hosted a number of unexpected and exciting performers during an Open Mic Night they hosted last Wednesday. This open mic night—produced by Caroline Romanelli of Embrace DIY Productions, the Madison Arts and Culture Alliance and the Drew University Music Society—brought together Drew students and local community members for an unforgettable show.
The event happens every second Wednesday of each month; however, this one was special because it was organized in collaboration with the Drew University Music Society. Romanelli shared how exactly they came together: “I do open mics every second Wednesday, and [The Drew University Music Society] wanted to do something with me, and we have a lot of space open. So I asked them if they wanted to collab with my mic, and they were very gracious.”
Many acts went on that night, and the show lasted nearly three hours. However, time seemed not to affect audience members, as they enjoyed performances from Drew students and community members alike.
There was something for everyone during the Open Mic, from local community member Leo, whose impressive, improvised tap dance number to “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli wowed the audience, to Drew Student Nia Núñez (‘26), who played “The Water Diviner” and “Haunted Past” beautifully on piano. Attendees even had the opportunity to see the only band on Drew’s campus, The Automatics, perform some awesome original songs, with members Jonathan Fischer (C‘22), Dean Graham (‘24), Matthew Sherman (‘24) and Daniel Wu (‘25).
One particularly notable performance involved some Drew students who were jamming (playing an improvised musical piece) onstage invited anyone else from the audience to join in—and they did! It was quite a spectacle to see guitarists, bassists, harmonica players and tap dancers come together and share the rhythm.
The vice president of the Drew University Music Society, Brynn McCarthy (‘25), shared her thoughts after the show saying, “We had a really great turnout, and a lot of very talented people, and it was awesome to get to see so many talented people perform their pieces, from outside of Drew and from within Drew.”
Performer Andy Bentley (‘26), who sang and played an amazing cover of “Book of Our Names” by Ezra Furnace, summarized the ambiance of the whole night quite well: “I thought that it was very good, everyone was so talented and I’m glad I took this opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and perform.”
The next open mic night will be March 8, the second Wednesday of the month. More information and other upcoming events are regularly posted on their website: www.madisonartsnj.org. The Drew University Music Society can be found on their Instagram page: @drewuniversity.musicsociety. Finally, The Automatics (@automaticsnj on Instagram) are seeking a new drummer! Anyone who is interested should contact Sherman (firstname.lastname@example.org), Wu (email@example.com) or Graham (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Max Odell is a first-year student majoring in anthropology.
Featured image courtesy of Pexels.com.