XJTLU’s musicians and poets recently took to the stage to showcase their talents in the first Open Mic Night of 2023.

In the intimate setting of the X-bar on the south campus, 10 performers were cheered on by a supportive audience keen to see how the evening would unfold.

The event was organised by Dominic O’Rourke and David Brennan, lecturers from the School of Languages. The duo also kicked off the session with songs accompanied by acoustic guitars and a recitation of an Irish poem.

Dominic O’Rourke and David Brennan performing a duet (Credit: Nancy)

O’Rourke says: “Open mic nights provide a platform where students and staff can freely express themselves, uninhibited by worries of perfectionism. They can share their diverse artistic talents in a laid-back and inclusive atmosphere that promotes creativity and connection.”

Yutong Wang, a Year Four student in Media and Communication, seized the opportunity to recite a poem she had written in high school. She says: “I really enjoyed this event because it brought together a lot of people who share the same passions. It gave everyone a chance to express themselves and relax.

“I particularly liked a little poem by Emily Dickinson that was read aloud during the event. I was impressed by not only how inspiring the poem was, but how beautifully, calmly and confidently the reader expressed themself,” she continues.

 Yuzhi Chen reciting Emily Dickinson’s ‘Because I could not stop for Death’ (Credit: C. Diamond)

Co-organiser Brennan says: “Three things happened on the night that captured the spirit of what I believe an open mic night should be about.

“The first was a student who had come to watch and suddenly felt inspired to recite a Chinese poem – ‘The iron moon’.

“The second was another student who, at first, was reluctant to share her original poetry but pushed past her fears to deliver a beautiful poem about spring.

“Third, two students who had not met previously collaborated to play and sing an unrehearsed Taylor Swift song together.

“All the other performers were also great, and I’m looking forward to seeing them at the next event.”

Students doing an impromptu duet version of Taylor Swift’s ‘Love Story’ at the first Open Mic night (Credit: C. Diamond)


The next Open Mic Night will be on 13 December. For more information, email: David.Brennan@xjtlu.edu.cn

By Catherine Diamond

Edited by Patricia Pieterse

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