Singing Into the Semester, Suffolk PAO Hosts Block Party


Maia Simmons

Freshman Sam Hackett performing at the event.

Suffolk University’s Performing Arts Office hosted a block party and open mic on Sept. 8, occupying the second and third floors of Sawyer giving students the chance to check out the arts clubs that Suffolk has to offer and providing them the unique opportunity to showcase their talents.

Along with booths occupied by various clubs on the second floor, the third floor had a stage, lights and acoustics set up for an open mic night that was sponsored by the PAO in collaboration with WSFR, Suffolk’s radio station, and UDOT, The Union of Designers and Technicians.

Attendees had the opportunity before the performances to visit and speak with representatives of all the different performing arts clubs. Club members set up the student run block party with signs and posters at each booth, promoting their clubs and recruiting new members. 

Once students ventured onto the third floor, they were met with popcorn, donuts, colorful lights and music blasting from speakers, all gearing up for the open mic. The show was opened by the host, alum Olivia Lowe, who has come back to Suffolk this year to be the advisor for the university’s a cappella group, The Ramifications. Lowe graduated in 2018 and is excited to be back and involved with performing arts at Suffolk. 

“The audience is very receptive and much larger than a few years ago. I used to be part of The Ramifications and now I am coming back as their advisor. I start this week and I’m super excited to be back,” said Lowe.

The student performances included singers with their acoustic guitars, duets with backing tracks and even some of Suffolk’s jazz band. The entertainers ranged from freshmen to seniors while the genres spanned from musical theater to popular songs on TikTok, and even included original songs written by students themselves. 

“I think this is really cool,” said Ian Demusis, a senior who performed his original song called “Russian Roulette”. “I have a couple of friends that are part of the PAO so I thought why not”

The performances were well received by the audience, whether they were at the show supporting friends, partners or even just coming to observe the talents on stage. The crowd was blown away by each and every performance that went on stage. The atmosphere was a welcoming space for all students to be able to be themselves and share their art with their peers. 

“I love this, I’m having a great time tonight. I think all of these performances are really great! I love all of the different acts ranging in songs from Lady Gaga to the Cranewives,” said sophomore Rose Bailey.

Following the open mic, club presidents were able to recruit new members after hearing them sing, with some lucky performers being offered a space in their respective troupes for the fall semester.