Friends told me about the monthly Open Mic Night at the Twinsburg Public Library for some time. Finally, a year ago, I participated in one; I liked it and have been participating regularly. I find this very challenging because it’s so different from playing and singing at church: obviously the repertoire is different, and accompanying yourself is very different from accompanying a cantor, choir, or congregation.
Each month library director Laura Leonard announces some voluntary “challenges.” For January, those were 80s acoustic; Elvis; and Peter, Paul, and Mary. Not everyone participates in the monthly challenges, but most of us try to do at least one song that relates to at least one of the challenges.
Most participants are guitarist-singers, and I have the piano field mostly to myself. Performers are all supportive of each other’s efforts and tolerant of goofs, which was good for me because I had some concentration issues on two of the three songs.
TPL’s Open Mic starts with a round where each participant can do two songs. Then if there is time, we’ll have a second round where each participant can do one more song if they wish. I’ve learned to prepare three songs.
Here were my recordings, warts and all:
- “God Bless the Child” (channeling Billie Holiday);
- “Can’t Help Falling in Love” (My Elvis connection, suggested by my sister Judy);
- “Nevertheless” (my third song, inspired by the Mills Brothers version).
On February 2 (6:30 EST) the challenges are love songs (Valentine’s Day, natch), folk songs, and Rod Stewart. These events are free and open to the public. Over the past year they have been conducted on Zoom, outdoors, and indoors; presently February is scheduled for the library’s combined meeting room, which is big enough for plenty of social distancing.
You can see more about the event on the TPL calendar page at https://twinsburglibrary.libcal.com/event/8591523. If they switch to Zoom because of the pandemic, that’s where the announcement will appear. Registration gets you a reminder and an update if anything changes.