Open Mic Night for Haiti draws crowd

Butler University students showcased their talent to raise more than $300 at “Open Mic Night for Haiti” on Sept. 24 in the Reilly Room.

The event was organized by junior Winford Parker to benefit Partners in Health, an organization that makes health care more affordable for those in need.

Parker said that when the doors opened at 8 p.m., he was relieved to see so many people.

“I was really happy to see people excited about it,” Parker said. “I think we let in about 75 people right when the doors open[ed].”

The night was filled with 13 performances, each lasting about 15 minutes.

Audience members voted for their favorite performers by giving donations.

The third place prize, a $25 gift card to Yats in Broad Ripple, went to freshman Kenneth Quilaton, who performed
three songs, including an original song he wrote for a homesick freshman.

“I was really nervous to go out and perform,” Quilaton said. “I didn’t really know what to expect, but it turned out to be a lot of fun and it feels great.”

Sophomore Kevin Babb, who performed original music for the crowd, won the second place prize, a $50 gift card to Bazbeaux Pizza.

The first place prize, a $75 gift card to Mama Carolla’s, went to sophomores Doug Johnson and Katie Bolinger, who performed the song “Falling Slowly” from the movie “Once.”

“It was really cool to win because it felt like I was really helping Winford out, who worked really hard to put it all together,” Bolinger said.

Johnson couldn’t contain his surprise at winning. “I thought, ‘Oh my god, I won,’” Johnson said. “It was like a dream. I didn’t think I was going to win. All of the acts were really good, but Katie and I just brought it to town, I guess.”

Parker said he was happy with the student performers. “I didn’t really know what to expect from the performances,” Parker said. “I had never seen any of them before, but I was really pleased with all of the performances.”

Out of the Dawg House opened the event with the singing of the “National Anthem” and “The Butler War Song,” which was arranged by sophomore music education major Lauren King. King performed twice in the event, once as part of a trio and again as a solo performer.

Parker followed Out of the Dawg House with a performance of three songs, including “Summertime,” “Like a
Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Ordinary People.”

“I always get really nervouswhen I perform,” Parker said. “Everyone made me feel more comfortable,though.”

The night ended with a performance from “Like ofthe Conchords”—a coverband  inspired by “The Flight
of the Conchords”—composed of sophomores Kyle Sparks, Craig Middleton and Aaron Kelley and junior Brendan McMahon, Sparks said he was looking forward to playing in front of his friends.

“I’m used to being on stage, so I was more excited than anything,” Sparks said. “The crowd response was great. If there are any more events like this, we would totallyplay.”

Sparks said he was happy to see his peers perform.

“You want to support your friends,” he said. “That’s what being a friend is.”

Audience members like sophomore Melissa Rangel said she had been looking forward to “Open Mic Night for Haiti.”

“I was really excited for them [the performers],” Rangel said. “It’s not every day that you get a chance to see events like these and it’s important that you go and support people.”

Parker said he is not sure if an event like would be possible in the future because he is not sure if the resources are going to be available.

“Open Mic Night for Haiti” was sponsored by Ross Hall Freshman Living Learning Center, where Parker is a resident assistant.

“I’d really like to [do it again], but I know it might not be a possibility,” Parker said. “I hope that this night might have inspired someone else to try and do something like this in the future, though.”

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