Open Mic Night was a fun and light production



Taking place over Zoom on March 26 at 7:00 p.m., the high school’s virtual Open Mic Night was an enjoyable and entertaining event.

“Santa’s got a little friend; his name is Dominick. The cutest little donkey, you never see him kick,” members of the Open Mic Night belted out in unison, smiles erupting across their faces.

Taking place over Zoom on March 26 at 7:00 p.m., the high school’s virtual Open Mic Night was an enjoyable and entertaining event. With jazz and concert band teacher Carolyn Castellano’s birthday a few days later, the event was dedicated to celebrating and appreciating the beloved teacher. Consisting of current band room students, alumni and parents, the Open Mic Night displayed a variety of talents. Enthusiastic participants tuned in from outdoors, inside their cars and in their homes.

Emcee junior Claire Gallion began by leading the group through a round of share outs about Castellano. These remarks included compliments on her strong teaching abilities, with multiple students recognizing her as their inspiration for wanting to pursue music in college and beyond. Others mentioned her amazing ability to connect with students and help them find their confidence.

Senior Jake Perdue followed these comments with a live performance on the saxophone. His song selection was extremely heartfelt as he chose to play the first song he learned from band practice. Next, alumni Ruby Rose Fox honored Castellano by playing one of Castellano’s favorite songs, “They Were You,” by the Fantasticks. While this performance was only a recording, her unique and robust voice truly allowed the audience to imagine that they were listening to her live.

Junior Nathaniel Fusillo presented an original song that showcased his usage of a low monotone voice and defined beats. His recording left participants asking how quickly they could add it to their Spotify playlists. The individuality of this eccentric piece allowed it to stand out among the rest.

It was impossible to imagine that amazement didn’t emerge in audience members’ eyes as junior Lilia Burtonpatel took the stage. She performed a breathtaking rendition of Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good.” Burtonpatel was able to encapsulate Winehouse’s distinct style while allowing her own to shine. As her performance came to an end, the chat was exploding with words of encouragement and awe. This performance was a favorite of the night, as Burtonpatel’s unique voice inspired the feeling of listening to a professional singer at a concert.

The excitement from the audience rose to an even higher level as the whole group finally unmuted and wholeheartedly jumped into singing a karaoke version of “Dominick the Donkey” by Lou Monte. While the emotional meaning of this song remains a mystery, it seems to be filled with happy memories for all members of Castellano’s class.

The night came to a close as alumnus Max Grossman presented an original piece he created during quarantine. Castellano had the fun idea of spotlighting different participants and having them lead a dance movement to be copied by everyone else. We felt this was a great way to end the exciting evening as participants bounced on their feet and bobbed their head to his electric piece featuring an upbeat rhythm practically made for dancing.

While this night was chaotic at times, all the encouragement along with the wide smiles across everyone’s faces shined a light on the supportive community of the band room that has persisted despite the challenges of this year. And of course, they successfully wished Castellano a very happy birthday.