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Open Mic Night Returns to Wooster

Open Mic Night Returns to Wooster
Sean Jakobson '26

On Friday, February 9th, Wooster had its first Open Mic Night since before Covid. It took place in the Black Box Theater and featured a total of 15 performances by Wooster students and faculty members (and even a parent). It was a great time and anyone can perform, and we are hoping for another Open Mic Night in the spring; look out for more details. 

The night opened with a performance by Ms. Simard, Mr. Newbury, and Mr. Johnston performing ‘Message in a Bottle’ by the Police. Throughout the night, junior Austin Etzbach was Emceeing, so he welcomed us all in, and next was the only stand-up set of the night done by myself. Next was the sophomore band, which included Austin Kriegel on vocals, Abraham Leonard on bass, Gianna Ancona on drums, and Antonio Vanacore on guitar. They played the classic Weezer song “Island in the Sun.” 

There were many musical performances including one by Carly Rae Stern, who sang “Put Your Records On” by Corinne Bailey Rae. Will Thaler performed a couple of times, one being with his Dad! They sang one of my favorite songs, “Kings Highway” by Tom Petty. He did another performance of Mother Superior by Coheed and Cambria with Mr. Newbury. Arthur Jaccard and Austin Kreigel did solos. Wooster alums Harrison Becker and Will Santella also took the stage (separately) to perform solos. Jaxs Esner and Lucca Carlevarini also performed solos, and Ms. Simard did a solo singing a song from La La Land. Lynx went on stage and read some self-written poetry. Humanities teacher Ms. Wilbourne showed off her talent as a dancer, performing Smooth Criminal. The night ended with a group performance by Mr. Newbury, Mr. Johnston, Ms. Simard, Austin Etzbach, and Will Thaler with a tribute to Bob Marley singing “I Wanna Love You.” 

I asked a handful of performers a couple of questions about the night and what they would say to people who are thinking about participating in the next Open Mic Night. 

Austin Kriegel '26:
What are your thoughts on your open mic performance?
“I loved doing it and I had fun because it was a relaxed and non judgemental environment.”

What was your favorite act besides your own? 
“The final performance with all the teachers and Austin E.”

Would you do it again and if so, what will you perform?
“Of course, I would perform and I would do a solo song and maybe another group song.” 

Will Thaler '24:
What are your thoughts on your open mic performance?
I had a lot of fun with the performance with my dad (pictured above). It was the first time we learned or played a song together and it was so much fun and the song meant so much to me. We both listen to it all the time. Then, with Mr. Newbury, I cannot even put it in words. I resonate with it right now because of the lyrics and feel and it is special to me because where I am right now. Mr. Newbury was the one who showed me this band and I had a great time overall. 

What was your favorite act besides your own? 
I liked several acts the most including Ms. Wilbourne’s to Smooth Criminal, Ms. Simard’s solo from La La land, and finally Mr. Becker's solo performance of “That Funny Feeling" by Bo Burnham. 

Would you do it again and if so, what will you perform?
Yeah 100% I would do it again but I will not be able to do that many due to graduating soon. I would love to do a group song, but my top choice would be a more personal song or a Coheed and Cambria cover because of their great catalog. 

Carly Rae Stern '26:
What are your thoughts on your open mic performance?
“I thought that the mic was a bit finicky, but I did not even worry about that because I had a great time and it was a chill, comfortable place.” 

What was your favorite act besides your own? 
“Your stand up act! Also Lynx’s poetry was beautiful and I heard about their work before open mic and urged them to share it and they did. It was emotional for me. I really enjoyed it.” 

Would you do it again and if so, what will you perform?
“I would definitely do it again and would love to do Joni Mitchell with my vocal teacher accompanying me.” 

Conclusion 
Open Mic night was a blast and I am looking forward to doing another stand up set at the next one. I hope to see you all there and maybe you might even perform?
 

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