This year’s monthly open mic/coffee house gatherings in the Odd Fellows Hall ballroom in Dawson City have featured an increasing number of young performers, who are filling up the set list during the first hour of the evening.
Some of them are taking individual lessons in guitar, recorder or ukulele. Others are part of programs at the Robert Service School, which include ukes and recorders, but also junior and senior rock bands and a senior choir.
At recent events we have seen fiddlers, a recorder group, a ukulele group and a couple of duo acts from the same age group. The senior rock band borrowed the lead singer from the junior rock band for part of their set.
In April a quartet from the senior choir performed some folkish pop tunes (reading the lyrics off their cell phones in a 21st century touch) while one of them took to the microphone as a solo performer and then came back for the May event.
Christopher Tom Tom began to study the guitar about three years ago, learning to read music and play the notes rather than just chording and strumming. He has performed on every evening for the last couple of years. His sister, Emma, has also soloed on her recorder.
Jack Amos, who successfully pulled off his musical, Jellicle Cats, a couple of weekends ago, has also been a regular at these events — first as a fiddler, and more recently by reciting old fashioned poems (you know, the ones that rhyme) and singing.
There are still lots of older folks at open mic night, but it’s good to see a younger generation coming up and contributing.
The last of the indoor series was held on May 4. In June the evenings will move to the Front Street Gazebo, weather permitting, for an outdoor summer series.