Students showcase their talents in livestreamed hybrid event

By Aaliyah Patel

The Student Entertainment Council (SEC) presented the Rider community with Showcase Saturday, an outdoor event that promoted student singers, rappers and poets on a socially-distanced stage on March 27.

The event encouraged all students to register through a Google Form and perform solo acts for up to 15 minutes. The performances were live-streamed through the university so spectators could enjoy them safely from their homes.

COVID-19 safety precautions were placed into effect such as cleaning the outdoor stage after each performance, sanitizing the microphone and limiting in-person interaction by only allowing the production team and performers on campus.

Janette Bowman, a senior public relations major and SEC vice president of special events, discussed the importance of social-distancing during the early planning stages of this hybrid event.

“Most likely, there will only be one person on stage at a time which is either the student performer, host or another SEC member. But, if there is more than one person on stage for any reason, then those people will be spaced out and must wear a mask,” Bowman assured.

Performers were welcomed to accompany their acts with props such as musical instruments and written poetic pieces.

Junior film, TV and radio major Rob Brown spoke about his experience at the showcase.

“I was very happy that we were able to be a part of a showcase like this because I haven’t been on a stage in a very long time,” said Brown. “During my time when quarantine just started I would write poetry to pass my time and it is so great to see that I was able to perform it.”

From renditions of popular songs such as Rihanna’s “Diamonds” to original poetry, the showcase featured a wide array of talent.

Nicholas Barbati, the associate dean of campus life, mentioned the importance of retaining normalcy for students as they go through a non-traditional college experience.

“I think the event is going to be an important one to allow students to either return to performing on campus or give them their first opportunity ever to do so. In particular, it is my hope that seniors, who might have sadness about not having a last chance to sing on stage or share a poem on campus, will take advantage of this opportunity for a video performance of them doing what they love on their own college campus,” Barbati said.

This hybrid event is intended to demonstrate student talent through a variety of performances. The university plans to shift more events to in-person such as this, as long as safety precautions are met effectively.

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