The heart of Harlem made its appearance in Shippensburg on Thursday, Feb. 9, in Stewart Hall for the annual “Live at Apollo” event hosted by Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) and Residence Hall Association (RHA). A celebration of black history and talent, this event featured various student performances in true Apollo fashion.
Established in 1913 at 233 W. 125th St. in the Harlem District of New York City, the Apollo Theater became an established venue for African American popular music from jazz, swing and bebop to gospel, R&B and blues. The Apollo Theater paved the way for many emerging black artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Luther Vandross and countless others.
“Live at Apollo” aimed to highlight the rich history of such, featuring informative posters about various the history of the theater and performers while including the involvement of talented students on campus.
“One of the things I wanted to accomplish with my presidency was really make RHA events recognized on campus, and Live at the Apollo was one of them. With this year I really wanted to increase student involvement and allow more students a chance to shine," RHA President Adam Beam said.
The night started off with Pierce Romey, who read poems from African American poets t’ai freedom ford and Danez Smith, both of whom have previously performed on campus. Ayo Modd rapped his own songs. Elite Modeling Troupe strutted their stuff. Student artist Kylo also showcased his own songs. The second half of the event included an open-mic session where students from the audience could perform anything from karaoke to poetry. Kennedy Holt, Student Government Association (SGA) President, read a poem about her brother and Adam Beam sang along to karaoke of Frank Sinatra’s “L.O.V.E.”
Beam was pleased with how well received “Live at Apollo” was.
“I was incredibly happy with how the event turned out. We had solid attendance and the work of my fellow RHA members, and the work of MSA shined through. The performances and participants were all excellent to have, and I can't thank them all enough," Beam said.
The night ended with a raffle drawing for a record player and packing up of leftover chicken nuggets and cheesecakes to-go.
"I do plan on running for re-election to be president of RHA once again, and if given the opportunity, I want Live at the Apollo to be even bigger next year. We already are in talks with MSA to start brainstorming ideas. Stewart was a great venue, so we'll absolutely be securing again, and we hope to see new and old faces returning to our makeshift Apollo stage,” Beam said.
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