This past Saturday night, Andrews students poured into the tiny auditorium in the Recreation Center Auditorium, quickly filling all the seats, and before anyone realized, the aisles were full and overflowing. By 9 p.m. the energy in the room had climbed a few steps past a dull roar, and it took several attempts by the emcee to get everyone’s attention when she announced the beginning of the program. As the first singer picked up his guitar and walked to the center of the stage, a hush did not, in fact, sweep over the audience. Instead, from the 9 p.m. start time to the 10 p.m. originally-projected end time and ultimately to the 10:30 p.m. closing prayer, the crowd enthusiastically displayed their appreciation for each of the performer’s artistic talents.
Those who took the time to attend The Nest had the opportunity to hear firsthand a wide range of the vocal talents of the Andrews University community. As each musician and poet stepped onto the stage, his or her face was immediately lost in shadow. Overall low lighting in the room and backlighting on the stage made it all but impossible to see the artists. While this de-emphasis on the visuals left us to focus on the words and vocal qualities of the artists, art does have an important visual element. Even though music and poetry are not technically visual arts, body language and facial expression greatly increase our perception and reaction to the emotion of the singer.
After the last song had faded out and the lights came back on, Jessica Condon (junior, photography) commented about the inclusion of visual arts in student events like The Nest.
“Human interaction is just as important as the visual reaction,” Condon said. “There’s definitely room for more physical art.”
That being said, The Nest certainly did not disappoint as a showcase of student talent: from original songs and poetry, to covers of Beyoncé and The Beatles, and yes, even to a cello and beatboxing duet, Andrews University students clearly have skills that reach far beyond traditional academics.
Ben Dietel (senior, architecture), who worked on the soundboard for The Nest, agreed that the a cappella trio singing of “Because” by The Beatles really resonated with him.
“There are one in a hundred songs where the song doesn’t come from your mind, but from your soul,” Dietel said.
While the semester picks up its pace and exams loom overhead, The Nest provided a space for students of any major to share a lyrical part of their soul with a very receptive audience. However, for students whose artistic talents do not center around music or poetry, Saturday night may not have been the same creative space it was for others.