Review: October Open Mic Night

Ani Mathison, Staff Writer


Band director Carolyn Castellano and seniors Jory Cherry and Tristan Geary sing a funny song about dirt at Open Mic Night. Kendall McGowan / Sagamore Staff

The night began with band director Carolyn Castellano, senior Tristan Geary, and senior Jory Cherry singing a song about dirt. “This is a song about dirt. Nothing else,” said Castellano, before beginning their number that set the mood for the evening: fun, casual and funny. The song featured a guitar solo by Geary that had the room cheering a few seconds into the song.

The next act was introduced by Cherry and sophomore Jason Altshuler, the night’s emcees. Sophomores Talia Lanckton and Bea Andrade performed “A Part of Me” by Neck Deep. There was a slight delay before they began, and the girls began a trend that continued for the rest of the night, telling corny jokes while the audience waited to keep spirits high. Once they began, Lanckton played guitar and sang while Andrade provided a steady vocal harmony. Their sound was delightfully sweet with a touch of rebellion in the song’s lyrics.

Next up was Geary, senior Shane Dahler, and senior James Monaco on guitar, bass, and drums respectively. The trio played a jazzy piece with a driving bass line, riffing guitar, and energetic drums. The number kept up a steady rhythm that had the whole room moving to the beat. The guitar solo layered over the otherwise heavy sounds in a light- sounding riff reminiscent of the 1960s, and the bass had its own solo, the rhythm so infectious that even the back row was snapping along.

The seniors played another piece, a blues number, inviting anyone with an instrument to join in. Senior Hal Triebman joined in on piano, and senior Eddie Cipullo added his flute to the mix. The impromptu band jammed seamlessly together, creating an energy- filled and fun sound. Cipullo even played a jazzy flute solo that had people cheering. Peter Fletcher at one point joined in, adding his humor to the band. Fletcher picked up a book of The Lorax and began to use it as a prop for a spoken word, emotionally performing the book for the room in a hilarious routine. The number reflected the spontaneous and fun feeling of the evening.

 Freshman Rueben Ramos performed a classical music piece on a bass cello nearly twice his size. Ramos began with soft notes that had the audience anticipating what would come next. Ramos was nervous at first, but became more comfortable, playing faster and more confidently, and finished to a big round of applause.

Triebman returned to the stage again for the next act, playing a piece by Franz Liszt on the piano. The piece was beautiful, full of high, fast, notes that scattered across the keyboard. Triebman kept the audience’s attention on the music and him as a performer by moving along with the music, playing most of the song with his eyes closed.

Class of ’15 Mike Suh was the next performer, singing “Horchata” by Vampire Weekend. Suh is an alumni, coming back from Berkeley. Suh was a seasoned performer, his attitude, voice, and acoustic guitar blended seamlessly. His voice filled the room, perfectly on pitch. The audience was quieter, as if not daring to interrupt the amazing performance, and , once Suh finished, there was a huge round of applause that lasted for several minutes.

Senior Christine Huang was the next performer, singing “I’m Not That Girl” from the musical Wicked. Huang, although very nervous, sang wonderfully once she became comfortable, and roused the audience with her sweet soprano voice.

Seniors Josh Grossman and Peter Fletcher were the penultimate performers, singing a song by Kanye West. In a blend of piano and acoustic guitar, Grossman and Fletcher made a wonderful duo. Making a memorable change to West’s song, “No Church In The Wild,” Grossman sang the rap parts, making jokes about the lyrics the whole way through, while Fletcher kept up a complicated piano riff, showing of his dextrous fingers. The duo segued into another song, telling the audience it was about a dolphin they had met once. They proceeded to sing a humorous song about Vivian the Dolphin, calling her “their captain now.” The whole room had a good time with the song, audience members and performers laughing along, some even waving their arms in the air along with the music.

The last performer of the night was junior Alma Bitran, who performed a rendition of the famous song “Blackbird” by the Beatles. In a gorgeous soprano, she breathed new life into the old song. Her voice was delicate and pretty, carrying across the room.

Open Mic Nights are creative forums for students and teachers alike who are looking for a platform to display their performing arts works. These nights of casual, free entertainment are held monthly in the band room. Performers who want to sign up should contact Ms. Castellano or look for posters around the school for more information.