By Helena Kilburn
The porch of Stirling’s was cold yet cozy on the night of Thursday, November 10, while students gathered to support and appreciate the musical and artistic talents of their peers. The strings of Christmas lights around the border of the roof set the entire scene in a soft warm glow.
This was the night of the songwriters showcase, an event similar to other Mountain Top Musician open mic nights, original work allowed only. It was sponsored by the Mountain Goat, which has now begun receiving early submissions and will continue to receive them through January 24th. The Mountain Goat’s goal in sponsoring this songwriter showcase was “to start having events now in order to celebrate artists before we start receiving submissions…Even though writing is an individual art, better work comes from a close community and collaboration” said Bella Lilly (C’17), one of the primary organizers of this event.
Each act was different with ranging from single performers to duos and bands. There were guitars, electric guitars, and even an accordion. Voices filled the air, as different from each other as the songs they sang. While the voices were low, high, sweet, scratchy, and soft, the material of the songs themselves was even more varied. There were songs about best friends, old friends, lost friends, not friends, more than friends, and songs that were not about friends at all.
Not all the acts were musical: there were songs, poems, and material in between. The entire experience was certainly impressive, who knew Sewanee had so many talented writers?
The event was primarily organized by Lilly and Eliana Perozo (C’18). Lilly said she was motivated to organize this event because “We wanted to provide a forum that was specifically catered toward those who write original music and poetry, also with the intention of building the songwriter community. It was relatively easy to put together: once we got the word out, most people came to us. We were very excited about the turnout, both artists and the people that showed their support and interest, despite the cold.” Lilly also said this event was a significant moment for the Sewanee community, because “musicians struggle to define themselves because they exist in a liminal zone at Sewanee that often falls low in people’s priorities. If we can give artists a stage, we can learn more about ourselves and our community through the process of performance”.
There certainly was a great turnout, and the cold weather could not deter the students who eagerly sat around the porch. This event was a wonderful way to show a sample of musical talent at Sewanee.