Prospective changes to Acoustic Kitchen series

By Contributing Writer

by Megan Purazrang, Contributing Writer

The raw sounds of Columbia musicians can be heard monthly during the spring and fall semesters at the Acoustic Kitchen Open Stage sessions in the Wabash Campus Building, 623 S. Wabash Ave.

The sessions, which ended for this semester Nov. 27, give Columbia’s musicians and singers the opportunity to perform for their peers. David Dolak, a senior lecturer in the Science & Mathematics Department who hosts the events, said the series may be changing in the future so more students can participate.

“I think I may actually try to have two [sessions] on a Tuesday and two on a Monday, so that way if a student has a class on one of those nights, they don’t miss the whole semester,” Dolak said.

He said there will still be four sessions per semester and he will continue to allow the six best performers of the year to play a half-hour set at Manifest, Columbia’s annual urban arts festival.

Hanna Ashbrook, a senior music major who performed at the Nov. 27 show, said she plans on returning to Acoustic Kitchen next semester.

“Everybody I’ve met here has always been really supportive and will come up to me after and talk to me,” Ashbrook said. “I just think that’s really great because it occasionally can be really competitive.”

Ashbrook said she has also performed at Manifest and venues such as the Tonic Room in Lincoln Park.

Songwriter John Joson, a sophomore arts, entertainment & media management major who performed the original song titled, “With You” Nov. 27, said he attends every Acoustic Kitchen session and thinks the series is beneficial for musicians like himself, who are new to performing live.

“I feel like for most beginners, [the series] is a great place to [perform] because everyone will give you feedback, and usually after the shows, we can meet up with people and collaborate with them next time,” Joson said.

Erin Helgeland, a freshman music major who also attended the event, said she would like to perform at Acoustic Kitchen but needs more practice. She said she attends the sessions to support her friends.

“I think it is cool that anyone can go up there no matter how good you are,” Helgeland said.