Night at the Apollo event unifies groups on campus

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    Jazz and warm candlelight filled the Brown-Lupton University Union Auditorium Saturday night as more than 100 people attended the second consecutive “Night at the Apollo” event. 

    Planned by TCU Inclusiveness and Intercultural Services (IIS) and the IIS Black History Month Committee, the event gave students a chance to listen to poetry and music performed by their peers.

    Senior Spanish and Hispanic studies major Marquis Harris hosted the event and started things off by showing a video discussing the importance and history of the Apollo Theater.

    Afterwards, the “II-V-I” (two-five-one) Jazz band, comprised of five students, played songs by musicians Miles Davis and Lee Morgan.

    II-V-I guitarist Landon Priddy, sophomore music major, said the band’s love of jazz and the impact musicians, like Davis, has inspired them.

    Individual students took turns standing between the red, gold and black-ballooned pillars reciting poetry and rapping.

    Students Billy Lyons and Nusaybah Craft recited poems by Langston Hughes and Ntozake Shange, respectively.

    Elijah Herring and Nia Brookins recited original poems and Ohi Ojeikere performed the song “Requiem for the Rap Game” under the name “Ike Q” (pronounced I.Q.).

    Harris, who recited the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling, said watching everyone showcase their talent was his favorite part of the night, and that the energy of those performing inspired him to do the same.

    Music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha provided a three song choral performance halfway through and the Word of Truth Gospel Choir closed the event with two songs of their own.

    David Jones Jr., a junior psychology major, sang as part of the Word of Truth Gospel Choir. He said events like “Night at the Apollo” help unify the different groups of people on campus who might not normally interact with each other.

    Takyra Morgan, senior communication studies major, is the chair of the IIS Black History Month Committee. Morgan said the turnout was more than expected, as the committee had originally planned for 50-75 attendees.

    Leslie Chanthaphasouk, program coordinator for IIS, said the turnout could be largely attributed to the student run committees. She said IIS plans to work more closely with such committees to give students a variety of events to attend throughout the semester.

    IIS will be holding its next big event, the Black Student & Alumni Dinner, on Thursday, Feb. 19 at the Dee J. Kelly Alumni Center.