by Saimah Shareef, Staff Writer
The second and final Open Mic Night of the 2012-2013 academic year took place here at Benedictine University on the fifth floor of Kindlon Hall on Friday, April 26th. Beginning at 8:00 p.m., the event was free and open to all. It was sponsored by ResLife and organized and hosted by BenU senior, Alex Fridge.
Advertising and appearances of Open Mic Night on social media made most aware on campus that it was coming up months in advance. 20 participants took the stage to dance, sing, recite poetry, and perform live music. With all 200 seats filled at the event on Friday night, the turnout met the expectations of organizers.
“Actually seeing all of those people come and participate was truly humbling. I’m just thankful that everyone who wanted to perform got the chance to,” Fridge said.
This second show was a way to work out the kinks that had occurred in the first show. It was a second run to make sure the best production was made. Fridge said he wanted to make this show spectacular by adding different details, using as many professionals as possible and making it as big as possible since it was going to be his last before graduating.
One of the participants, BenU student Gurpreet Singh, played the dhol at the event. The dhol is a North Indian instrument from Punjab, similar to a drum. It is usually played at festive occasions, ranging from weddings to celebrating the new harvest in the villages. Singh said that in general the dhol is used as an instrument to bring people together for joyous events, and he felt it was no different at Open Mic Night.
“I would say that these are the moments that I will forever cherish. What made my performance memorable was fusing the East and the West. As I was playing traditional beats on the dhol, the band behind me that was brought in for this event started to blend into the background. With one performance, we were able to bring two different parts of the world together for one cause, which was to spread peace and share each other’s love for one another,” shared Singh.
Although Fridge, the main force behind this event, will be graduating this year, he hopes to pass on the torch so that programs at Benedictine University can continue as they have traditionally been. He hopes that those who have assisted him throughout the process will keep things going so he has the opportunity to come back and watch.
“What I want BenU to retain is an appreciation for the arts and not lose sight of the art of expression. That idea has been my main motive behind operating this whole event!” Fridge said. He was pleased to see a full house and experience the diversity of talented individuals that partook in the event.