Apollo Night concludes Black History Month at Maryville College

Maryville College concluded Black History Month with the Black Student Alliance’s Apollo Night at the Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall in Clayton Center for the Arts building B on Feb. 27, 2019.

Annually, the talent show hosted by the Black Student Alliance is for students to flaunt their uniqueness and embrace their passions and has been doing so for more than 15 years.

Apollo Night is supposed to resemble Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater. The theater would allow people from around the nation to perform in front of a live audience. Some notable performers at the Amateur Night were Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight, Lauryn Hill, Mariah Carey, and Marvin Gaye.

Secretary of the Black Student Alliance, Tatyania Watts, supervised the event and had a lot to say about the talent. “This year we had a wider variety of performances that include singing, dancing, poetry, rapping, and tap dancing,” said Watts.

The performing students that returned to the stage were Sydelle Young, Lakwan Bain, and Danaya Randolph. Last year’s winner, Lakwan Bain returned to the stage for his senior year. “I plan on winning by doing the same thing as I did last year, being myself,” said Bain.

Newer performers included Katherine Ebers, Elisabeth Jackson, Chloe Melton, Christopher “CJ” Bryson, Marcus Pierce, Katie Conner, Brennon Murray, Amanda Matthews, and Boomer Russell. Although the event was hosted by the Black Student Alliance, all ethnicities were welcomed.

In order from left to right, the first, second, and third place winners share a picture on stage: Katherine Ebers, Danaya Randolph, Katie Conner. Photo by Deon’te Starks

“Even though I am not of color, I feel welcomed by this club and the hip-hop culture. Also, I feel honored to even be included in this Apollo Night tradition,” said Brennon Murray. The night concluded with Ebers taking home the first-place win with her poetry, followed by Randolph’s singing in second, and Conner’s singing in third.

Ebers stated, “I felt amazing to have won against so many talented people. I didn’t even expect to place, so it was a big surprise.”

Not placing this year did not discourage last year’s winner. “You win some; you lose some,” said Bain. He showed no hard feelings for not placing, and he will continue to perform through the love of his music. Although only three people placed, everyone did a great job on the stage in front of strangers and friends.

“I felt that it was a successful night because not only did we get a lot of students involved, but we had a larger audience than previous years,” said Young, The event was considered an overall success. Advisor of the Black Student Alliance and multicultural director, Mr. Larry Ervin of Maryville College said, “We hope to bring bigger and better things each year from our multicultural representation of the community.”

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