Freedom of Speech

Middlesex School

Having a DJ spin music on a Saturday night is fun, but it doesn’t beat the experience of a live show - especially when it’s performed by your classmates, your teammates, or even yourself. This is the premise behind Freedom of Speech (FOS), an open-mic concert series performed by students for students.

Last Saturday night FOS kicked off with a bang as a large crowd packed into our intimate yet spacious Terry Room to hear an eclectic mix of performances. The Will Scott Experience got things rocking with a cover of “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne. Later a quartet of seniors -Brian LeMeur ’13, Katie Parks ’13, Maddie Miller ’13, and Gabby Edzie ’13 - took the stage for a stirring rendition of Tom Petty’s perpetual crowd pleaser, “Free Fallin’.” Max Rifkin ’14 and his banjo also made a highly anticipated return to the FOS stage with an eerily beautiful rendition of “Friend of the Devil.”

Musical energy was soon converted to laughs when Tom Ren '15 grabbed the mic and treated the crowd to some stand up comedy. Laughter gave way to curiosity - then awe - when Judy Chen '15 brought forth a guzheng (a Chinese string instrument) and gave the audience a performance that was as educational as it was melodic. Also featured Saturday night was DJ Williams’ ('16) completely silent performance of John Cage’s 4:33, which was juxtaposed with the loquacious energy of Sean Yuan’s ('13) self-written rap.

When Freedom of Speech came to a close and the energized crowd filed out of the Terry Room, there was no doubt about the depth and breadth of our students’ artistic talents. Really, there was only question that remained on everyone’s mind: “When’s the next show?”

See performances on YouTube.

Photo credit: Isabella Lichauco '13

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