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The Belles Make their Fall Debut with Open Mic Night


On Friday night, the Loyola Belles held an open mic night for students to show off their singing talents. The event was held in Starbucks prior to their auditions for the 2022-23 school year, which took place on Sept. 18. Lots of students showed up to the event to watch some great performers. There were a variety of acts, from current Belles, Chimes, and Greysounds to first-time performers. While some performers sang popular songs, such as “Grenade” by Bruno Mars, sung by Lauren Donovan ‘25 and Kaily Iglesias ‘25, some decided to sing original songs. Janna Garden ‘24, sang an original she had finished writing that day, and audience members enjoyed it.

Becca Howlett ‘24, who was a member of the audience, said, “I came tonight to support my friend Claire, who is a Belle. I love to watch the Belles perform – I am their biggest fan. It was really cool to hear original music and really impressive.”

Julian Crisostomo ’26, took a different approach to the open mic night. He did not sing like the other acts but instead decided to play two songs on his ukulele. He engaged the audience by explaining what he was playing and the different elements of the song, such as the melody and the rhythm. He told the audience he plays at a retirement home and likes to give back to his community.

When asked how he learned to play the ukulele, Crisostomo said, “My grandfather introduced it to me, but my dad was always playing, and I kind of picked it up and fell in love with it.” Crisostomo was one of many performers the large audience loved to watch. Belles President Jackie Pineda ‘23 and Musical Director Kelsey McCoy ’23 performed a few times during the event. Both were ecstatic about the crowd that gathered for the open mic night. Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the Belles have been limited to online-only performances but were finally able to have their first in-person Chordbusters in almost 3 years this past spring. 

Pineda expressed her gratitude to everyone who attended. She said, “Just seeing everyone here tonight was unreal. We had the idea [for the event] so we could get the Belles name out again…we wanted to get the word out for auditions.” According to Jackie, there were over 100 sign-ups for the Belles at the activities fair. Since the auditions this past weekend, music director Kelsey McCoy ’23 shared a few things students can look forward to this coming year with the Belles.

She said, “Chordbusters is every semester, so look out for that at the end of the semester! We also perform at Relay next year in April.” McCoy also mentioned a possible acapella invitational this November with other colleges’ acapella groups.

Be sure to check out the Loyola Belles on Instagram @loyolabelles to see what’s coming up this school year!

Featured Image courtesy of Abby MacLeod

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The Belles Make their Fall Debut with Open Mic Night