By Marisa Goolcharan, Staff Writer
During the first-ever annual open mic and artistic gallery on Dec. 18, the students and staff joined together to leave 2015 on a high note. The open mic, held in the Croydon Hall Gymnasium, was planned by the creative arts council as an outlet for the students and faculty to showcase their talents in visual arts, music and improvisational theatre.
The council and its leaders (junior Nicole LoRusso, sophomore Kate Burgess and freshman Abigail Devine) worked diligently to plan the event so that it could occur before winter break. With the help of Head of School Mary Sciarrillo and the council’s two faculty advisors, Theresa Kiernan and Ellen Phillips, the council was able to secure a time and the gym for the event to live out the council’s vision.
“The Open Mic would not have been possible without the cooperation and support from the entire student body and the faculty,” LoRusso said. “[The council] wanted to make sure that everyone who wanted to be involved had an opportunity to perform and that they felt comfortable doing so. We didn’t want this just to be a showcase for the experienced singers, actresses and artists; we wanted everyone to be involved, making it more of a community event.”
For the council, the biggest concern was that only a few students would be willing to perform in front of all of their peers, but the participation exceeded their expectations by far. With a total of 11 performances and twenty pieces of artwork displayed, the council was overjoyed with the community’s involvement.
“After seeing the people who signed up, I became even more excited for the showcase because I saw that people who typically didn’t sing or perform were taking the opportunity to do so. During the performances, it was so rewarding to see everyone singing along and admiring the talents of their peers,” LoRusso said.
The performers and audience also appreciated the event. “It was a really good experience and a lot of fun performing in front of all of my friends and peers,” said sophomore Kailin Burns-Cohen, who performed a memorable rendition of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” along with sophomore Brigid Clifford.
Not only were vocal talents showcased but instrumental ones as well. Freshman Antonia Patti both sang and played the guitar for her performance. “It was the first time I performed alone in front of a large crowd so it was terrifying, but at the same time it was exhilarating. It was a really cool experience, and everyone was supportive and encouraging,” Patti said.
The teachers surprised the students with their performance of “The Twelve Days of Trinity Hall” for the finale.
“All I knew was that the teachers had something planned, but I did not expect full participation from the staff along with their own rendition of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’,” LoRusso said. “I was just as surprised as the rest of the student body, which made it even better.”
Lots of laughs were shared during both the juniors and sophomores’ improv game, Party Quirks, a game in which numerous students with awkward quirks suggested by the audience “attend” a party hosted by another student who must try to guess each guest’s quirk. Between the comedic improv skills of the performers and the humorous dramatic irony, the game was a crowd pleaser. The visual arts display featured pieces from school art classes, the school’s production of Suite Surrender and even a few pieces created especially for this event.
“I loved participating in the open mic and watching others perform. It really brought everyone’s talents to life” said junior Kyla Whitlock, who displayed her instrumental, vocal and artistic talents at the event.
Based on the positive feedback from both the participants and audience, the creative arts council anticipates that the event will become an annual celebration before winter break.
“I believe our first open mic went very well. I’m proud of what we accomplished and hope that it could start a new tradition,” Burgess said.