First open mic night: A family-friendly affair

Erika Buiter–Staff Writer

A crowd of around 20 attentive watchers and performers gathered in the BackBack on October 25 for the first Open Mic Night at the Fruited Plain. Drawn in by the promise of a free drink for getting on stage, a myriad of people took up the challenge. College musicians–professors and students alike–joined joke-tellers, magic-makers, story-readers, and more on the black plywood stage.

The Lief clan–Dr. Jason Lief, professor of religion at Northwestern College, his daughter Naomi (viola), son Christian (electric guitar), and daughter Savannah (drums)–all made appearances on the stage.

“We love music in our house,” Lief said.

According to Lief, the musicality stems from Tammy, Lief’s wife, who sang in choir and played the piano in college. In addition to the guitar, his son Christian plays the drums and the cello, and his daughter Savannah also plays the viola. Naomi took the stage for a humorous side, too, telling a joke involving her father and the band U2. Open-mic nights like this give the younger members of Lief’s family a chance to try out their musical skills in a “judgment-free zone.”

Despite hiccupping starts for some of the younger performers, the gathered audience applauded each person who braved the stage. Members of Dordt’s community made it up there, too. Dr. Jeff Taylor, professor of political science, played guitar with his daughter on stage, sophomore Felix Alcover performed magic card tricks, and junior Anneliese Donstad read a piece of spoken-word poetry titled “Moon Rocks.”.


Photo By: Erica Buiter

“I wanted to share something that came from my heart. My poem was based on my childhood-experiences,” Donstad said. “In my family, we called brownies “moon-rocks,” and milk “porcupine juice” and that was what inspired me to write something about that. It’s not something that anyone else probably experienced in their house growing up.”

Donstad enjoys open mic nights like this one because it brings people together.

“Everyone can share what they love and it doesn’t have to fit in a box. There are people singing, playing instruments, sharing their talents,” Donstad said. “Nothing was like anything else that was shown.”

Donstad believes more people should come to events like this. The next Open Mic Night will be on November 29th in the BackBack at the Fruited Plain.

“It allows you to get to know other people and to express yourself,” Donstad said. “Also, what else is there to do in Sioux Center on a Thursday night?”

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