Coffee House series fills up new space

“The mind is like a parachute. It works better when it’s open.”

Will Wood, a psychology senior, spoke this line while he invited the audience to howl with him after singing a song inspired by “Teen Wolf.”

Saturday’s Open Mic Night marked the final show of the year, and the performers went out in style by playing in the Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts. Hidden talents emerged, such as students performing guitar solos and comedic standups.

The Valley Vanguard

Vanguard photo | Tyler Bradley

The lead singer of Absolutely Nothing performs in Program Board’s final Coffee House of the semester.

The laid-back nature of the event could be highly contributed to the head of the Open Mic Nights, Tony Cianciolo. Even though the secondary education senior is handing the title down to Wood beginning next semester, his relaxed control was unmistakable.

Cianciolo spoke about why he feels the performer should be just as relaxed.

“Everyone is supportive,” Cianciolo said. “Good or bad, I’m going to applaud, and so will everybody else.”

Steven Gould, accounting senior, feels the same when it comes to the audience but understands it at a different level since he performs as well.

“It’s more of an outlet,” Gould said. “Everyone is really accepting.”

While regulars usually attend, the crowd at each event continues to grow.

Wood remembered back to a show held in the Marketplace At Doan earlier in the year. More than 100 people showed up, and the evaluation was positive.

“When people are closer together,” Wood said, “there are bigger reactions and better encouragement.”

When asked about the different acts presented, a strong consensus was that a majority of the people would sing along with acoustic instruments.

Andrew Doyle, graphic design senior and vice president of program board, wants to emphasize the variety of acts each Coffee House event brings.

“People assume it’s all music,” Doyle said. “We want to get more poetry or comedy out there.”

Swallowing fear and standing up to perform in front of strangers definitely says something about the character of each artist.

“It speaks to their courage,” Cianciolo said.

Gould feels the same as a performer.

“Now when I come up here I’m calm,” Gould said. “It established who I am.”

With Wood taking over next year, the question is whether he will continue to sing while he runs the event.

“I’m going to try not to perform,” Wood said. “I just want to put it on for other people.”

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