On Nov. 14, students took the stage in Cavern to play music for all those strolling through. The seats quickly filled and were dragged closer and closer to the stage. Others who arrived after eight congregated in a standing crowd against the counters. Some of the performances included folk music and instrumental pieces as well as a cappella moments. The audience was fluid, changing as students filtered in and out to wait for their dinner or to sit and listen for a while. Each group or performer got about twenty minutes out of the allotted two hours to play out what they had prepared or what inspiration brought them, and the schedule was packed. In addition to musical performances there were poetry pieces, haunting stories, skits, and other expressions of creativity.
The evening was interspersed with comedic skits by the improv club between performances by other clubs and performers in the Roanoke Community. Some student performances included a romantic poem written and performed by Xena Callaham for “the guy in the hat” in the back of the room or Daniel Osbourne with a harmonica and an acoustic guitar playing folk music. Some of the songs were covers while others were originals such as the third performer, Ben Cohn, who introduced his song as a product of inspiration that hit him the night before. The song ended with him playing on a table with his electric guitar over his head and a jump back onto the stage and a roll to the floor. Alex Oladokun performed a poem afterwards for and about his girlfriend that kept the crowd awing and laughing through its entirety. Later in the night, other performers like Rebecca Hudon sang a song from a small band from her hometown all a cappella that silenced the room to its finish until a break of applause. Melissa Lehrer, a senior, performed a rendition of Adele’s “Rumor Has It” that had all of Cavern clapping along to the beat. Evelyn Clark then performed a poem she wrote entitled “Dear Straight People” that also brought about a grand round of applause. Throughout the night door prizes were given out to audience members who had swiped their maroon cards on their way in.
All the artists smiled on stage, taking technical difficulties as they came. Many performed multiple times and in different groupings, some offering their instrumental ability to solo vocal singers who needed accompaniment, only furthering the good vibes that were in the room for the two hours of the open mic night.