The Apollo Theater is still in Harlem, but this Thursday, the Binghamton University Undergrounds will host its own “Night at the Apollo.”
Hosted by the Charles Drew Minority Pre-Health Society and the Binghamton University Gospel Choir (BUGC), Apollo Night will showcase the talents and skills of BU students.
Inspiration for the event comes from the famous theatre’s “Amateur Night at the Apollo” event, where performers from all over the world audition to compete. The tradition began in 1934 and has had performances from names like Ella Fitzgerald and Dave Chappelle. To this day, the winner of the event is determined by the cheers of the crowd.
The theme of BU’s event will be the ’90s, but acts will not be restricted by it. This event will display a range of talents — from singing to poetry — keeping true to the goal of the Apollo Theater’s original version of the event.
“The acts that we look for are people showcasing their talent such as singing, rapping, poetry, spoken word, dancing, small skits, and instrument playing,” Rachel Lubinga, president of BUGC and a senior majoring in integrative neuroscience, wrote in an email. ”The majority of the acts we’ve received in the past are singers, spoken word artists, and dancers.”
Auditions for the event were held in the Union from Tuesday, Feb. 21 to Thursday, Feb. 23, and were open to all students. Still, Mmekom Udosen, president of the Charles Drew Minority Pre-Health Society, explained that it is not too late to perform, and any student or faculty member is welcome.
“We have up to 9 acts set to be a part of the event and we will welcome any last minute acts the day of the event,” Udosen, a junior double-majoring in integrative neuroscience and Africana studies, wrote in an email.
According to Udosen and Lubinga, the evening is more than just a show, but a way to bring together students through these art forms.
“The goal of the event is to bring people from all sorts of backgrounds and cultures to enjoy a fun event showcasing different types of talents that people have in our community,” Lubinga said.
Udosen says holding this event is a way for the two organizations to give back to the community. She explained how giving back and unifying the community is ingrained in the goals and mantras of both groups.
“Our two organizations believe strongly in giving back to the Binghamton University community and promoting unity and inclusion,” Udosen said. “This is an opportunity for BU students to showcase their unique talents and have fun with their peers.”
The price of admission for the show is $4 and refreshments will be provided. The proceeds go back to the groups’ SA accounts and will help the BUGC fund other events.
Among them is the BUGC’s spring concert, titled “Break Through.” The concert will be taking place on April 18 at 6 p.m. in the Mandela Room of Old University Union. The BUGC frequently hosts shows and events, like last month’s “Sunday Best” in collaboration with the Black Student Union.
Apollo Night will be taking place on Thursday at 7 p.m.