Open-Mic Night: A room full of talent

Students crowded into the jumbled tables and chairs of Bookworms for an open-mic night. (Eric Wang/The Daily Campus)

Last night, students crowded into the jumbled tables and chairs of Bookworms for an open-mic night. Of the several performances that ensued, there was stand-up comedy, dancing, singing, poetry reading and even a reading of a picture book. Each participant had their own unique personality and style that made them stand out despite having others perform in the same category as them. The diverse display of talent kept the audience entranced; An audience that just so happened to also include Jonathan the Husky.

One duo, third-semester psych major Molly Barnett and third-semester environmental engineering major Liam Patrick swing danced to the song “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder. When questioned on their strange song choice, Barnett said that it was “because it’s Halloween.”

The two demonstrated a complex series of kicks, hand motions, twirls and dips that they said to have learned in their club “Swing and Blues.” Patrick said: “It wasn’t choreographed, it was all on the spot.” Like professional swing dancing, none of their routine had been rehearsed beforehand. Despite that, they seemed incredibly happy and coordinated while performing it. Smiles never left their faces the entire time as they moved in sync.

A capella group A Minor also made an appearance. They were incredibly entertaining to watch. As each member sang their own part, the different melodies layered on top of each other in perfect harmony. Without watching them, it was easy to forget that it was only voices singing, and not instruments. It was also nearly impossible to pinpoint who was singing which part. Half of their appeal also came from their expressions. Depending on the note, each member would make a different face. For long, deep notes, they tended to put on serious faces. When the notes were more clipped or if any of them happened to make eye contact, they would grin. It was clear that they were having a great time performing together. Their songs sounded a little spooky, in the spirit of Halloween.

First-semester student Maggie Cayangyang sang “Chapel of Love” by The Dixie Cups to the accompaniment of her ukulele. Her rendition was very soft and sweet and was well received by the audience. Afterwards, it was revealed that her performance had been very impromptu. She said that this song had “been stuck in my head lately, so I’ve practiced it when I jammed in my room.” She remained unrattled by her sudden decision to stand up in front of a crowd, as she had done it several times before. “I used to play at coffee shops back in my high school,” Cayangyang said.

All of the students that went on stage were greeted with a round of applause and performed with smiles on their faces. For those out there who have been considering showing off their skills in front of an audience, stay on the lookout for open-mic nights. There are more to come. For those who just want to come and see what it’s all about: There’s plenty of popcorn.


Rebecca Maher is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at rebecca.maher@uconn.edu.