‘Skills are something which shouldn’t be bottled up. Open mic series gives the students a stage to showcase what they can do, and possibly find someone to join you. I am actually looking forward to see a lot of musicians come and showcase their skills. Maybe we could work together.’– Suhan Budhathoki
Are you looking for a stage for your creative expression? The Centennial Student Union is launching a pilot program Friday, Nov. 8, offering students an open mic for channeling music and literary talents.
The Nov. 8 session will be at 4 p.m. in Jazzman’s Café on the CSU Main Level.
“Our working title is simply CSU Open Mic Series,” said Lenny Koupal, CSU communications coordinator guiding student efforts in creating the new performance opportunity. “That’s not important right now. What is significant is forming an ongoing outlet for student creativity.”
The Jazzman’s site was preferred to provide a coffeehouse setting. Choosing Friday afternoon seeks to create an end of the week “happy hour” of entertainment. A small Jazzman’s stage area – ideal for one or two performers – will be complemented with a sound system and electric piano. Music performances should be acoustic with no reliance on percussion or loud amplification.
Koupal said providing a CSU stage for student musicians has been on his bucket list for some time. The vision started to take shape this fall with input from three student musicians – Suhan Budhathoki, Niruth Perera and Shourav Dey.
“They are the driving force behind this becoming a reality,” Koupal added. “It’s only fitting that they are among our first performers.”
Budhathoki said the new outlet offers a chance to spotlight talent and form new collaborations.
“Skills are something which shouldn’t be bottled up. Open mic series gives the students a stage to showcase what they can do, and possibly find someone to join you,” he said. “I am actually looking forward to see a lot of musicians come and showcase their skills. Maybe we could work together.”
Dey added that the series offers support and opportunities for exposing, exploring and expanding one’s interests and talents.
“There are a lot of students on campus like me – musicians but not music majors. A series like this gets musicians some exposure,” Dey said. “I think students should participate in the series for a good time and to be inspired to do music and any other form of performing arts. It is also going to help others to spread out their artistic side, too.”
A Friday program is a relaxing way to step away from the class week, he added.
“Honestly, college sometimes gets very hectic and the passion for music sometimes seems to fade away,” Dey said. “Being part of the open mic series will help me to be in touch with music.”
Seeing accomplished and untapped student talent across campus, Koupal said the open mic series seeks to attract solo or duet performances from a wide range of artistic disciplines.
“Maybe you’re a songwriter. Maybe you free style. Maybe you have a theatre monologue you want to try out on an audience. Maybe you’re an aspiring comedian. Whatever ever your means of self-expression, we want to offer a stage,” Koupal said.
Koupal said the program initially will be offered every two weeks with hopes that participation will continue and grow. He realizes that past campus efforts have faced a lack of performers.
“Like Field of Dreams, we are hoping that if we build it, they will come,” he said. “Key will be reaching and creating a network of performers committed to filling upcoming performance dates.”
Koupal added that the series is open to the entire campus community with students, faculty and staff welcomed to participate. While performers may show up and spontaneously take to the stage, initial sessions will be filled by scheduled performances, usually 10 to 30 minutes long. Students will be sought to fill open slots. An online signup is offered on the CSU website where artists can reserve performance date and time.
Signing up to perform will aid the CSU in promoting the upcoming event with a list of slated performers.