Open Mic Night draws performers


A group of girls performing  Kirk Franklin’s “Melodies from Heaven” was one of the crowd pleaser’s at Tuesday’s “Open Mic Night,” sponsored by the Campus Activities Board.  

Contrary to the song’s name, many of the melodies sang that night were not from heaven. 

Junior pre-nursing major Akeyah Boyd expected more talented people to participate but was surprised by the amount of athletes that could sing. However, Boyd did feel that “besides the fact that it was outside and in a small area, it was great.” 

Some people showed up to show off their trained voices, but in good fun, others participated to make people laugh with their shoddy renditions of today’s hits. 

The top three winners of the evening were Baxter Flor (first), Torey Coleman (second) and Elliot Gonzalez (third).

Coleman sang Focus by H.E.R. close to the end of the event. After winning second place through audience voting, Coleman said it feels good. 

“Especially to see how supportive the audience was whether you hit a wrong note or didn’t, everyone was just very supportive, and I’m grateful for the opportunity,” sophomore pre-nursing major Coleman added. 

Onlookers may have recognized her as a member of the ULM Hawkline. Coleman began both singing and dancing as a little girl. 

What people probably couldn’t tell as she began confidently singing was that she did not plan on participating in Open Mic Night, because although she likes to sing, she isn’t a big fan of singing in front of people, such as her peers.

The winner, junior biology major Baxter Flor, performed a spoken word poem that was a part of a group piece he helped write called “Clarity.” 

The purpose of the piece when it was created by Flor and other high school classmates was to generate a higher awareness, that is, for people to feel that they could play a part in promoting positive change. 

“It’s easy to feel like you’re powerless, and you don’t have the ability to affect change in your surroundings. We were looking to give people the confidence and motivation to do so. It felt more authentic and genuine to have a message behind what we were saying, instead of just trying to write down cool sounding rhymes,” Flor explained.

Like Coleman, Flor didn’t plan on participating either.

 “I was actually walking back to my apartment from the gym when I saw a bunch of people and heard singing, and I went over to check it out”, Flor said.  

He is happy to have won though, because he received a backpack, got to perform and put himself out there. Flor was unable to perform this piece with his classmates back in high school, because he was visiting ULM for Prep. That makes this victory that much greater.   

Also, among the participants were 2018’s “ULM’s Got Talent” winner De’andra Lemalle and 2017’s “ULM’s Got Talent” winner Nishant Shrestha. Lemalle sang Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain” a cappella, while Shrestha performed a Nepali song.