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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

PAO open mic showcases student artists

Juniors+Carson+Stiles+and+Arlo+Matthews+perform+a+duet+of+Matthews+original+song.
Leo Woods
Juniors Carson Stiles and Arlo Matthews perform a duet of Matthews’ original song.

Students took to the stage to share their creativity and talent at Suffolk University’s Performing Arts Office’s Open Mic Night Oct. 5.

Students gathered in the Sawyer third floor lounge to enjoy seasonal refreshments of hot apple cider and donuts along with the performances. 

Freshman Teal Pratt started the night by playing an original song, “The Worst of Me,” on guitar. Pratt said this was her first time performing a song she wrote for an audience. 

“Though I made some mistakes because it was a brand new song with very little practice, it felt great to perform,” Pratt said. “I got to be very true to myself and honest in a way that felt more healing than the song itself.”

The performances, ranging from poetry readings to students’ original music, continued throughout the night, inciting laughs and raucous applause from the audience. Sophomore Manuela Maria emceed the evening.

Junior Gilad Gerber did stand-up about his experience in his business classes. 

Julia Valanzola, a freshman, performed a ukulele cover of “Don’t” by Ed Sheeran, what she called his “best song.” Valanzola enlisted the help of the audience to provide the song’s signature backing vocals.

Freshman May Lindeman performed an acoustic guitar cover of Brittney Spears’ “Toxic.” 

Arlo Matthews, a junior, performed one of his original songs, “What We Couldn’t Do,” which he released as a single in July. Matthews played the song as a medley with “What’s Love Got To Do With It” by Tina Turner. Later in the evening, he performed a duet of his song “See You Soon,” released with junior Carson Stiles. 

Matthews said he valued the opportunity Suffolk’s open mic nights give for making connections on campus.

“I think it’s a great way to share my music with people who might not know it yet and meet other artists at the university,” he said.

The laid-back and supportive atmosphere of open mics provides a platform for creative exploration, Matthews said. Whether it be changing up a guitar solo or performing with another person for the first time, the stage allows students to try something new.

“I always view open mics as a time to explore my performances, I always find time to experiment a little with my material,” Matthews said.

Moving away from the acoustic start to the night, Robert Rushing, a freshman, turned up the volume with a Deftones cover on his electric guitar. Sophomore Josh Tolentino followed the trend with three original songs throughout the night, which featured his practiced guitar riffs.

Seniors Andy Dolci and Emily Ziegerson performed a duet of “Suddenly Seymour” from Little Shop of Horrors. They reprised the roles of Seymour and Audrey, respectively, that they played during Rampage Show Choir’s annual cabaret in April. 

Tyler Eld, a senior, and Maria played two songs together. Maria performed her original song “Ilusa,” with Eld’s electric guitar as accompaniment. They then performed a duet of Eld’s song with his band Off By One, “Bad Dreams,” which features Maria.

The open mic showcased Suffolk’s talented students and set a positive tone for the year ahead. 

For updates on future PAO events, follow them on Instagram @suffolkpao.

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About the Contributor
Leo Woods
Leo Woods, News Editor | he/him

Leo is a senior political science major with a minor in journalism from Clinton, Connecticut. He has photographed political events, protests, performing arts groups and documented Boston Pride for the People for the History Project. Outside of Suffolk, Leo is an avid Dungeons and Dragons player and podcast listener. After graduation, he plans on attending law school and working in politics.

Follow Leo on X @leowoods108

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