Release Night: Finding Colgate’s Artistic Talent

 

 

Maria Kennedy

Last Friday was no regular night at Colgate; it was Release Night. Simply put, Release Night is just that, a night of release. It works as a series of student performances. The various students simply “release,” expressing what is on their minds in various ways. As junior Courtney Richardson put it, “It’s a forum where students can express themselves without being censored.” The openness of this event made it very popular.

The participating students may use any form of expression that they like. While many used slam poetry, some chose to express themselves in other ways such as dance, song or other unique forms of spoken word. “It’s an outlet for all forms of expression,” said Richardson.

Release Night takes place about once a month on Friday nights at 8:00 p.m. in the Edge. Food is served before the performances begin. Senior Grace Rodriguez and sophomore Jordan Scott are the hosts of Release Night for this year. Before the performers go on stage, the hosts introduce them with a short blurb. To welcome each student to the stage, members of the audience snap twice and then say the word “release.” The student is then given the microphone and from there, he or she has the floor. They can do whatever they want. The results are fascinating.

Release Night is fairly low-key in format. Anyone that wants to participate can if they just notify one of the hosts before the start of the program that they would like to perform. Following the program, an open mic is available to anyone in the audience. Anyone that wants to can “release.” These students get to say what they normally wouldn’t be able to. “It gives people the opportunity to say whatever they want. It basically puts the mic into a student’s hand, that normally wouldn’t get a voice,” said senior Jon Costantino.

Release Night was founded by a member of the Class of 2003. Over the years, the program has become increasingly popular, accumulating quite a following. “I think it’s good because it lets students express themselves. It’s been interesting. I’ve been going to it since I was a freshman. More and more students keep getting involved, and it keeps getting better every year,” said junior Kyle Chones. Sitting in on a Release Night session is a very interesting experience. As Richardson explained, “I find it very interesting to see how different individuals release their frustrations and their joys.”

The sincerity of the work presented at Release Night is incredible. It is clear that the night means a lot to those that come. The performances are very personal and raw. As simple as it sounds, being able to share your feelings and to say exactly what you want in front of an attentive group of people can be incredibly satisfying. It must feel good to “release!”