Students shine at HB’s Open Mic Night

Emma Schulz ’17 and Audrey Solinas ’19 performing “Last Kiss” by Pearl Jam.

Ava Occhialini and Nicole Poitras

For this first Tri-M sponsored open mic night at Union Coffee Company in Milford, a handful of HB performers took the stage. First, Nicole Poitras ‘17 and her dad performed Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love,” with Poitras on vocals and her father on guitar. Then, Emma Schulz ‘17 and Audrey Solinas ‘19 performed “Last Kiss” by Pearl Jam with Schulz strumming her acoustic guitar and Solinas adding both harmonies and a beat on the bongo drums. Afterwards, Schulz stayed onstage for a solo performance with her ukulele and covered Death Cab for Cutie’s “I Will Follow You Into the Dark.”

The energy of the night was undeniably positive and uplifting, according to Solinas, for whom the night marked the first time she had given a lengthy solo vocal performance in front of a large crowd. Her nerves, though present, did not get the better of her: “There were a lot of familiar faces in the crowd and everyone, regardless of whether or not I knew them, was extremely supportive and made it an overall good experience.” Solinas said she looks forward to performing more in the future.

Halfway through, a portion of the Improv 1 troupe (Dylan Silcox ‘17, Ethan King ‘17, Frank Pugh ‘18, Cody Douglas ‘17 and Solinas ‘19) broke up the line of acoustic music with the game “Scenes from a Hat.” The audience was delighted by the group’s quick-witted humor.

“It was a very calm and fun experience. Everyone wanted to be there and they cared about what they were doing,” Pugh said. Pugh also expressed satisfaction with his troupe’s performance, saying that both the audience and actors were thoroughly enjoying themselves with the “nice change of pace.”

Toward the end of the night, HB graduate Takuma Okada ‘16 performed two piano covers, beginning with “Summer Sun” by Jukebox the Ghost. His second song was “Good Day,” a song from the same band that is very popular with HB theatre students, who sang along with him from the audience.

Okada, who is no stranger to open mic nights, has performed at a few different venues, but cited Union as his favorite so far: “They have a smaller performance space and venue… but it’s cozy. At Union, other people performing came and talked to me more compared to Riverwalk [the venue for another open mic night event Okada frequents], which was nice.”

The open mic event provided the musicians of HB an opportunity to hone their performance skills. Additionally, it also served to integrate high school talent into the community, fulfilling TriM’s goal of helping student musicians become more active on the local scene.

TriM will continue to sponsor open mic nights at Union Coffee Co. on every second Friday of the month at 7 p.m. HB students are encouraged to come out and perform regardless of experience.