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Students showcase talents at first Soloist Night

By Mackenzie Cutruzzula

The Rathskeller held its first student soloist night of the semester on Friday, Sept. 26, featuring four student performers. The room was filled with tunes both old and new, including hits  from The Beatles and Adele.

Sophomore Joanne Kim kicked off the night with her guitar in hand. She warmed up the small crowd with her soulful voice and R&B feel. She put her own twist on indie hits such as “Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand and “Sleeping Sickness” by Dallas Green. Kim was excited to sing her favorite song of the moment on stage, “Riptide” by Vance Joy. Finishing off her set with a throwback crowd pleaser, Death Cab For Cutie’s “I’ll Follow You Into The Dark,” Kim was greeted with lots of applause.

Following Kim, Eric Mauro gave the growing crowd a lot to smile about. His cheery folk sound was catchy and vibrant. Equipped with a ukulele and a smooth voice, Mauro went all-in on The Beatles classic, “Blackbird.” Mauro gave the crowd a piece of his personality, playing two original instrumental pieces on his ukulele. Mauro had great stage presence as well, smiling through minor mistakes and laughing at himself.

Junior Seton Helwig accompanied Mauro for his last number. With a ukulele and a set of bells, the duet sang Chvrches’s “The Mother We Share.” Helwig remained on stage for her solo set, creatively opening with the “Orange is the New Black” theme song, “You’ve Got Time” by Regina Spektor.

Helwig loves performing in any way possible. She is a competitive drumline drummer outside of campus and part of the women’s ensemble at the College.

Helwig had never participated in any of the Rat performances before, but she enjoyed her time singing hits like “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men and “To Make You Feel My Love” by Adele.

Ending the night was junior  Ryan Quindlen. With the longest set of the night, Quindlen played to an engaged crowd of about 35 people. His pop rendition of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” got the crowd interested. Taking on other hip-hop and R&B classics and making them his own, Quindlen covered TLC’s “No Scrubs” and Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.”

“I love performing, and I really enjoy writing a lot,” Quindlen said, having been involved in music for about nine years.

The real show stopper was one of the four original songs he played. Getting the crowd going, he introduced his next song as being about “my one true love.” The crowd met the introduction with a unanimous “aww,” but Quindlen warned against being misguided by that teaser. The crowd was graced for the next three minutes by a song that referenced every movie that featured Emma Stone. Cleverly titled “Emma Stoned,” Quindlen demonstrated a talent for storytelling spanning his other original songs “Pop Culture” and “Toothbrush.”  The finale of the night was also an original, “I Don’t Know, Love,” a catchy tune with a snap, crackle and pop of a hook.

“I would like to do music in the future, even if it’s just a side thing,” Quindlen said. “I’m definitely not done pursuing it.”

Quindlen can be found DJing at local bars on the weekend and performs in a Led Zeppelin cover band in his hometown. Closer to campus, though, he enjoys playing shows at the Rat throughout the semester.


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