SPJ, Musician’s Guild Host Open Mic Night

Photo by Kayla Ebner

By Jen Campisi | Herald Reporter

It wasn’t a typical Tuesday night on the Roger Williams University campus. Instead of students crowding tables and cramming for midterms, the atrium of Global Heritage Hall was bustling with a crowd of students eager to perform at the open mic night.

In celebration of Free Speech Week, the RWU Musicians’ Guild and RWU Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) organization collaborated in putting an open mic night together for the second year in a row.

The entire executive board for the SPJ club was in attendance, which includes President Rachel Bimonte, Vice President Kyle Souza, Secretary Holly Huntoon, Treasurer Brett Johnson, and Communications Chair Kayla Ebner.

Bimonte, a senior, hosted the event as the emcee, while Huntoon, a senior, and Ebner, a junior, both contributed to the event by performing songs such as “She Used to Be Mine” by Sara Bareilles and “Love on the Brain” by Rihanna.

Light refreshments were available to attendees, including fruity drinks and baggies of Halloween candy to get into the spirit of the season. While the crowd snacked, brave souls performed slam poetry, drums, guitar, and sang. Students who were interested in signing up to perform could do so upon arrival.

The first performer of the night was SPJ’s own secretary, Huntoon, who sang a cover song. Both Huntoon and Kaylee Pugliese, another performer, have already established themselves as singers and have EPs available for download on iTunes.

Senior Miranda Coker switched up the lineup with slam poetry and recited her original poem “A Makeup Tutorial for Trump’s America.” The witty segment, a considerable attack on conservatism, won the audience over and received applause in “snaps, not claps.”

A band of RWU students named Small Talk made the stage their own, gathering onlookers from all levels of GHH. Members include juniors Colby Masse, Kaylee Pugliese, and Jake McVey, as well as senior Elias Christo.

The group met on campus through the Musicians Guild and have been known to work well together. Christo studies architecture and serves as the band’s drummer and one of the vocalists, while biochemistry major Masse plays the guitar. Pugliese, who studies journalism, music, and business, is a front vocalist alongside McVey, who also studies music.

The crowd was in awe at the soulful acoustic guitar rendition of “Toxic” by Britney Spears in addition to other songs that the group performed, such as “City Lights,” an original song by Pugliese. The group has recently been playing at J.R. Bean Saloon in Bristol.

Many students filled the airways with drumming and strumming to fill the space between acts.

Junior Rachel Johnson would highly recommend going again and getting involved in another event similar to this.

“It was my first school event that I’ve ever been to. I just have to say that we have a really talented student body on campus,” Johnson said.