Story by Collene Lewis
Performances, passion and pizza were key players in this month’s Open Mic Night, where 12 students from campus expressed their creativity in the Tivoli Boiler Room.
The heavy industrial feel of the Boiler Room was contrasted by the wide range of performances and the pizza kept the audience coming back for more filling entertainment.
Harpists, guitarists, singers, comedians and many others set the open stage for this tri-institutional event hosted by student activities the last Wednesday of every month.
For this event, audience size doesn’t matter. Typically 12 to 24 people perform at Open Mic Nights, but Raquib Hakeem, the event coordinator for CU Denver’s Student Life Office, says that despite its smaller attendance the event is worth putting on.
“It’s more about supporting our students regardless of what school they go to,” Hakeem said. “You never know until you try it out.”
Several students participated in the Open Mic Night for the first time Sept. 26. Jake Gallegos, a singing and songwriting major at UCD and Robin Roadway, a music performance major at UCD, formed a duo. The Open Mic Night was their first time performing together.
Gallegos and Roadway met in a music history class and began choosing songs for the Open Mic Night that reflected their personal music styles.
They performed “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye and “A Team” by Ed Sheeran. The two say that the Open Mic Night will help them get a start in music performance.
“Lights are on,” Roadway said. “So you can still see the audience, and you can better understand what you’re going to be up against when you have crowds of on thousand or more.”
Some performers at the event played even more stripped down sets. Robin Lumley, a double major in computer science and engineering at UCD, sang “Adult Female” by Hank Green and “Superluv” by Shane Dawson.
Lumley arrived at the event without any of her equipment, and decided to perform her songs “a cappella” instead. Lumley said that not only would she perform in the next Open Mic Night, but she would also bring her guitar so she would have more song choices.
After three years of hosting Open Mic Night, Hakeem says that not only does the event connect students to Auraria, but it also gives students the opportunity to “get their start” by practicing their craft. Hakeem encourages students to step outside their routine and partake in this unique opportunity.
Overall, the experience was a way for the performers to express themselves with music and make connections in their community, as many of the artists stayed late to chat with other performers.
One of the performers mingling after the event, Russell King, a double major in theater and business at CCD, sang “I Get a Kick Out of You” by Frank Sinatra and also beat boxed. King discussed how music translates across different languages and brings people together with the other artists.
“Music is one of those few things that can touch people, no matter what,” King said.
People: Russel King