‘A Night at the Apollo’ showcases diverse talents

Jacob Parker

A Night at the Apollo came to Downing University Center Auditorium Friday night to showcase WKU talent, sponsored by the Black Student Alliance.

Historically, the Apollo theatre in Harlem was a source of upcoming African American talent in the early 1900’s. A Night at the Apollo follows the same format, offering a chance for students to showcase their talent to an audience who decide during the performance if they wish to see it continue. The audience is encouraged to cheer, or boo, the performers depending on their feelings, similar to American Idol.

If an act is disliked and boo’ed, then a man with a dust mop, comes and “sweeps” them off of the stage.

Nashville junior, Coumba Sow, an event planner for the BSA, said that she was impressed with the number of people who came.

“I didn’t really think there was going to be a lot of people there, but quite a few showed up, so I was really happy with the turnout,” she said.

The night consisted of six acts including poetry, dancers and musicians. At the end of the night, the winner, country singer and guitar player Justin Meredith, was announced. Meredith sang “Your Man,” originally by country singer Josh Turner.

Meredith, a Glasgow junior at South Central Kentucky Community and Technical College, said he performed to have fun and practice for his upcoming performance in Nashville.

“Tonight was more of a practice. I came in not really expecting anything, then I won and they gave me 80 dollars,” he said.

Eugenia Scott, Meredith’s teacher and Associate Professor in Oral Communications at SKCTC, said that his participation in the program added diversity.

“His performance adds diversity to a normally all African American event,” she said.

Meredith said that at first this made him feel out of place.

“I was around all these talents, and I just had my guitar and was going to sing a country song. But when we were backstage, I was playing around on the guitar and they were really nice, so I got more comfortable,” he said.

Terrence Williams, Louisville junior, said he thought the event was amazing.

“The guitar player was definitely my favorite, and I liked the diversity,” he said.

Williams said this was the first time he had been to A Night at the Apollo, but said he wouldn’t boo anyone.

“I didn’t want to boo anyone, they worked hard and were brave enough to do all of that,” he said.

Canned goods were also brought for a donation to the Salvation Army by the BSA.