On Thursday, February 1, Bates put on a Student Showcase Village Club Series (VCS). Given its wide attraction, seats were sparse, the food quickly disappeared, and the room was filled with good music and talented people. A variety of groups and ages performed, all of which were a pleasure to watch. Each act was unique, displaying the variety of talent at Bates, from vocals to collaboration with others to using technology (a looper) to create a piece of music. Nick Osborne ’19 and Will Sanders ’19 opened the show, followed by Will Crate ’21 and Billy Lahart ’21.

Crate loved performing, and feels that the amount of people that showed up to hear performances was amazing. He was unaware of how many people would be attracted to the scene. When asked about his motivation for performing, he says that both his “interest in music,” which stemmed from learning piano in second grade, as well as “collaboration with Billy” led him to perform. The duo has been trying to find a performance that would work for both their schedules, and VCS was the perfect venue for them. They began with a cover of “Most Beautiful Girl in the Room” by Flight of the Conchords and ended with Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me,” a crowd pleaser.

Later in the program, Elliot Chun ’18 utilized both his guitar and violin skills to play Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars” and Ed Sheeran’s “Give Me Love.” Utilizing his loop, we were able to witness the creative process behind his performance. Joshua Redd ’21 performed a beautiful poem about his own race, using his creative license to construct an honest piece of art. Walter Washington ’19 performed two beautiful covers, but his favorite part of the night was watching Lahart, a member of the Men’s Basketball Team, on stage; he says that “another athlete getting involved in performing is always good to see. You realize everyone is so talented her and he’s a freshman, so he will be a huge part of the Bates fabric for years to come.”

Washington has been involved in the Bates music community for a few years and had always wanted to do a VCS but had always “back out before submitting something.” This year, however, he decided he would give it a shot, and luckily, “everything worked out.” Music has been a large part of his life for years, with his mom being a singer and his dad playing the guitar, “back in his glory days,” according to Washington. He also feels that “music has become a getaway and will always be a big part of [him].”

The showcase closed with seniors Sophie Moss-Slavin ’18, Summer Peterson ’18, Emma Schiller ’18, and Sarah Curtis ’18 singing acoustic covers of Aretha Franklin’s “I Say A Little Prayer For You” and Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Overall, the performances were wonderful and exciting to watch and the audience appeared to thoroughly enjoy each performance.

VCS is a special Thursday night activity at Bates that everyone should attend at some point throughout the semester. Next Thursday, there will be a Spoken Word Night which invites Nkosi Nkululeko, 2016 New York City Poet Laureate and a Callaloo fellow, to the stage. The week after that, we will have the winner of NBC’s The Voice, Javier Colon, perform and hopefully hear some of his originals. It is clear that VCS brings in a variety of different performers, all wonderfully unique from one another. The Student Showcase was highly successful and will definitely be replicated in the future.