On Friday night, the Horn Gallery hosted its first event of the year: an open mic with an impressive total of 23 performances. The lineup included stand-up, poetry and musical solo and group pieces including both covers and original music. Under a dazzling display of soft pink and yellow spotlights, an inflatable gold star glimmered and spun slowly above each performer as they presented their act to an enthusiastic audience.
With people sitting knee-to-knee in the gallery and additional audience members clustered outside the open garage doors, it is no surprise that each act received such a warm welcome. People swayed gently to the music, cheering loudly for performances or laughing quietly with their friends.
The Horn is a place for artists to unite and celebrate their work, and celebrate they did. Laney Goodrum ’26, who performed “Something in the Orange” by Zach Bryan (complete with clicking cowboy boots and a guitar), remarked that she had always viewed the Horn as a place of “joy and refuge” before her solo musical debut at the Horn. Sophia Czechowski ’26 (lead vocals), Ollie Peterson ’26 (guitar and vocals), Katie Taylor ’26 (bass) and Milo Jones ’26 (guitar and vocals) performed “Change” by Big Thief, one of the many group acts featured in the event. Each act was greeted by an uproar of applause and often a cluster of adoring fans waiting to congratulate them in a heartwarming display of support.
Liv Stripling ’26, the Horn’s resident videographer, captured footage of the open mic for the Horn’s YouTube channel. It was remarkable to see the sheer energy and passion driving each performer, as well as the liveliness of the crowd. The footage focused mainly on flashes of happiness throughout the evening: friends lying on the grass outside the Horn, talking quietly, enjoying the music and handing flowers to performers exiting the stage.
It was apparent that the Open Mic offered a night of community and fun for all. “It made me very emotional being back in this space and having it once again filled and overflowing with so much love and art,” Archivist of the Horn Ella Newgarden ’25 wrote in a message to the Collegian. “The Horn Gallery is a space by and for the people and the people are truly what make it so special beyond words.” Whether performing under the lights or swaying to the music, many present at the Horn’s wonderful debut event shared this sentiment.