LunchVOX performance: Rose Morris hosts Archer’s first open mic event

By Surya Patil, Staff Reporter

On Friday Dec. 3, in Archer’s newly developed garden, a group of students from all grade levels gathered together to perform their songs, poems, monologues and stories. The open mic event was organized by freshman Rose Morris and the VOX leadership council, which is advised by eighth grade English teacher Lauren Bahedry. The VOX leadership council is a new club at Archer, named after the word for voice in Latin, that will organize the open mic events throughout the year.

Students from all grade levels were encouraged to sign up and shared their original compositions.  The majority of performers were from seventh and ninth grade, they mostly shared songs or poems.

On Dec. 8, Morris sent out an email to the Archer community, informing students about the open mic event she was hosting. Her email included a link to a Google form where students could sign up to join the event. Morris is a songwriter and said she wished there was as an opportunity for her and other members of the community to display their songs at Archer. This served as her inspiration to host these open mic events.

“I feel like there are a lot of opportunities for music at Archer, but not one for music and writing,” Morris said. “[The event] is for original work that you just want to share. Just to share it, get it out there or want it to be featured at the school at some point. I think this is a good opportunity to do that.”

During Bahedry’s eighth grade English classes, students highlight their original work during an in-class poetry cafe. After Morris reached out to her, she saw how Morris’s idea could expand the ideas of her poetry cafe to a larger scale.

“I always wanted to have [the poetry cafe] be a bigger thing in the community, where not just the eighth graders were performing for each other, but where everyone in the Archer community could come together and share work that they’ve written, or perform something that they’ve created,” Bahedry said.”Rose … had talked about being really interested in starting a club where she got to focus a little bit more on songwriting and having people share their work.” 

One of the performers at the open mic event was freshman Bryce Collis, who, for the very first time, wrote and sang her new song “Pathetic Passions.”

“I knew I wanted to write a song for a while, [and] this motivated me to just get started,” Collis said. “I signed up two days before, but the thing is, I wasn’t sure if I was going perform this [song] that I really had not perfected yet, but I thought, what is the worst that could happen? It was amazing, and ended up being great; everyone was so supportive.”

Seventh grader Siena Fantini, who is a songwriter, was another vocalist at the event. She performed her new song, “Song to You,” that was written specifically for this show.

“I was passionate about music, and I’ve written songs before — I’ve just never shared them and I have always wanted to,” Fantini said.”I have always thought art should be prominent in any school community. I think some people here are so talented and [should] show what they can do. When I saw this opportunity come up, I knew for sure that I should sign up and show somebody [my] writing.”

Around 75 total people — including faculty, staff and students — gathered in the garden to watch and support the production.

The VOX club hopes to continue hosting open mic events and strives to organize them monthly. They have already begun brainstorming for their next open mic event that they plan to host next month in the garden.

“I thought it was really empowering and inspiring, and I think standing up there and [seeing] how supportive everyone was in the audience really makes it a way to bring us all together and be vulnerable and feel more connected because we’re opening up to each other,” Bahedry said.”So many teachers came up to me afterwards and [said] we need to keep this going — people were so excited.”

Morris and the rest of the leadership council handed out programs of the show and microphone-shaped cookies to all members of the audience.

“I love writing songs. I  think that there are a lot of beautiful people at Archer who would like to do the same thing … I [want] to make a tradition where if I come back here in 10 years, I could see people still doing [performances at the open mic],” Morris said. “I feel like it would be fun to set something up that would last longer than your graduation and I think it allows people to share what they want to do and say to the world.”