Shirley Hall Middle School

Good Times at Hall's First Open Mic Nite

Good Times at Hall’s First Open Mic Nite
Hall’s young performing artists rocked the reconverted theater arts storage room at their first HALLelujah Open Mic Nite this past Friday night. About 40 students enjoyed an evening of song, dance, spoken word poetry, comedy, improv, and instrumental music. The braver souls who took the stage first inspired the more reluctant performers to step into the spotlight by the end. The talent ranged from songs sung in Japanese to the cha cha slide to a duet fit for the angels.
Inspired by the level of creativity displayed by Hall students at last year’s talent show, Cynthia Scott, Casey Watson, and Courtney Patten, teachers at Hall, wrote a grant proposing monthly open mic nights. Their goal is to build a “scene” that fosters positive artistic expression and connections between young artists. They hope the program enriches student learning and engagement across campus by motivating students to create performance pieces to share with a wider audience. The Weatherford ISD Education Foundation funded the grant to provide a sound system, and Hall administrators approved the reconversion of the theater arts storage room into a dedicated performance space.
“Sound educational research shows the positive social, emotional, and academic effects of arts learning experiences. The arts have proven an effective strategy to improve student achievement and foster positive school environments,” Scott wrote in the grant.
“Many had a hand in making our first open mic nite a success,” said Scott, who is thankful for the support of the Education Foundation, administrators, and her creative cohorts, Watson and Patten. “Coaches, athletes, and maintenance helped clean out the room. Theater arts students helped set up and decorate the room, and Ruby McClain, our counselor, served so much chocolate cake on Friday night, she sent most of the audience back to their seats with blue mouths.
“The young people who performed blessed us with their talent and made that big room the best place to be in Weatherford last Friday night,” said Scott.