FTC Students take the stage on Tuesdays and Thursdays to show off their talents and provide entertainment
By Jeff Kramer
On September 23rd, the Upbeat Cafe came alive with jazz during the Common Hour for the first time in almost two years. After not being able to have this type of performance due to the pandemic, Thursday’s Common Hour certainly had added significance to it.
FTC President Dr. David Cohen attended the performance and spoke about what this event means to the college as an overall institution. "The fundamental underpinnings of the institution began as a music institution, and this type of event has been happening at the college since it was founded in 1972. We weren’t able to do it throughout the pandemic, so as we start to relaunch student activities and return to normalcy, it only seemed fitting that we begin with live music. We have a lot of music students here, we have a lot of creative students, and everybody connects with the arts through music, so it really signals a return to normalcy."
The afternoon included a variety of jazz-type acts, which enlivened the lunchtime audience. Noah Margolin, an FTC student, said, "Honestly, I’m a big fan of jazz, so especially on Thursdays during the Common Hour when I can just sit and relax, work on some homework or stuff. It’s so nice to have this ambiance in the background. And just to have such talented musicians surrounding me is such an inspiration to my work every day; it’s amazing." Margolin also commented on if he would consider partaking in this event as a performer. "Absolutely, I would. Given the chance, I’d love to."
Dr. Scott Ballin, one of the FTC professors, along with Dr. Steve Briody, involved with organizing this event, stressed the significance of bringing this great tradition back to the Common Hour. "Students look forward to it, and it just makes this place come alive."
There are also music performances on Tuesday afternoons during Common Hour that feature other kinds of music as well. Dr. Ballin elaborated on how students can participate, "On Tuesdays, there’s a wide-open jam session, it can be original music, it can be rock, really anything." Professor Ballin also said that any student that would like to perform could do so; it doesn’t just have to be students in the music department
Performer Jelisa Kirkland spoke about her singing in the Upbeat Cafe, “Practicing my music in front of a live audience allows me to work on my nerves and work on knowing how the audience reacts, getting their feedback, and knowing if I should improve or what I can really do to call their attention.”
Throughout the semester, students, faculty, and staff can look forward to some great entertainment in the Upbeat on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30-2pm. WFTU Radio will also be broadcasting Live from the Upbeat during the Thursday performances.
For more information on events around Five Towns College, students can follow @ftc_events on Instagram.