By Ronnie Sorensen
On Sept. 7, the Catlett resident assistants on the seventh floor of the dorm hosted an instrumental music-talent showcase for all Arts LLC students willing to participate. At 7 p.m., everyone met in the largest of the three lounges, ready to either listen or play or both to their heart’s content. Around 20 spectators sat on the floor, in seats, in couches, next to the window, or anywhere else they could to enjoy a night full of musical talent.
The event lasted two hours, and only a handful of students performed, but the atmosphere that the showcase created was one to remember. Students interacted with each other well before the music started. Laughter and ridiculous stories echoed throughout the lounge, the students chatting over cookies, ice cream, and soda. The RAs had people sign a sheet of paper that would motivate the university to provide even more food based on the numbers that came that night.
Then the performances began. The first act was by sophomore Dave Thaker, who played guitar. He played a handful of songs, including “No Such Thing,” by John Mayer, “Party in the USA,” by Miley Cyrus, and even some signature tracks from famous movies such as Jurassic Park and Back to the Future. “I had a lot of fun,” Thaker said. “I would totally do it again if they asked.”
During the songs, people were either actively listening, doing homework, or watching the beautiful sunset to the tune of the relaxing guitar. Another student played songs from the Pixar movie Up and other classic tunes on the clarinet.
The event was a great way to get people together; people were engaging with the music, the performers, and the other spectators. A majority of the showcase was filled with bright music, happy smiles, and wonderful food. While there’s always something to do downtown or on campus, I believe more freshmen and transfer students should participate in events their RAs plan. Specifically, showcases give students opportunities to express their talents, loves, and other interests. Even though there are already plenty of groups and organizations to choose from on campus, floor events give students the opportunity to connect with people they live with and bond over shared interests. Attending a few floor events a month is a great way to meet new people without having to go very far.
Later in the month, a vocal music showcase will be held on Catlett’s seventh floor, and a creative-writing showcase will be held later this month. It can be intimidating to be a new student on such a large campus. But floor events such as Catlett’s Musical Showcase show that UI students have plenty of opportunities to put themselves out there.