As the afternoon breeze gets colder and drops of rain announce the official change of the seasons, students and faculties have now perfectly adjusted into school life, waiting for midterm grades to come out this Thursday. Sunday evening’s open mic night became a little chill in the busy school routine, and last night, eight brilliant performers presented their delightful entertainment to the community at the second show in this year’s open mic series. It was glaringly obvious that this audience showed much better civility compared to the previous one; during the first open mic, everyone had to come up to the gallery to get dinner, which only made for utter chaos, with barely audible performances. Today, however, students could perform in a supportive environment while the audience enjoyed watching them in the cool breeze with hot chocolate and cookies.
Today’s open mic was one of the shorter shows in the series, having only seven performances in total. No one needed to leave during a performance or rush through their act; it was concise, potent, and on point. Natalie Shutnawy ’21, as known as a “Despacito girl” ever since her performance for Murzim in the Madaba Games talent show, started off the night with her exclusive dance moves. She was followed by a speech by Balqees Alshorman ’18 about the senior year. Some audience membersvehemently agreed with her arguments, and Balqees stepped off the stage to the sound of students’ cheers and acclamations. Leen Zaher ’18, introduced as a “first time performer” by Zayd Lahham ’19, sang Adele’s “Someone Like You” in a wonderful voice which impressed everyone. Some students were waving flashlights from their phones, creating an idyllic setting.
Hashim Khalayleh ’18 performed his usual comedy, and Leen Alshabsough ’20 and Leyann Al Maqousi ’20 – hip duo that we all know about – performed with Leyann on ukulele. Before Mohammad Alqudah ’19, popularly known as moqu, ended the open mic with a powerful and energetic dance, we heard from another first time performer, Leen Fouri ’20. Everyone at the open mic was humming John Legend’s “All of Me” as Leen sang through it with her alluring voice.
“I really like that we have it outside,” said Ms. Nadine Cunningham, music teacher and faculty producer of the Open Mic series. “Outside versus the gallery makes it easier for audience members to join what’s going on, which I really like—this informal setting that open mic provides, it’s different from an orchestra concert or theatre production. It allows us to be a low risk environment for those performing.” Cyan Brady ’18 agreed with Ms. Nadine, saying “having open mic outside allows for more audience members to watch.” However, she added, “the quality of viewing depends on the tech, the feedback from microphone really disrupts the performance and makes it hard for the people in the back to hear what’s happening.”
Open mic provides opportunity to every member in the community to perform their talent in various forms such as music, dance, and spoken words. However, there needs to be an improvement in quality of sounds to enhance the quality of the show. Jiwoong Jeon ’19, a junior in charge of sound tech at open mic, frequently expressed frustration on the bad sound quality of the microphones. If technology part can be improved a bit more, open mic will surely be a premier student performance showcase at King’s Academy.