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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Thursday, May 30, 2024
The Echo

Socially-distanced MyGen brings campus together

Students excited to be able to perform again

Celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving is a debate already; celebrating Christmas before Halloween seems bizarre. 

Taylor’s Student Activities Council (SAC) decided to tackle the mission of holding MyGen while also celebrating the long-running tradition of Silent Night, bringing Christmas a couple of months early to the Taylor community.  

Going into the planning, SAC members aimed to incorporate Silent Night into their event, hoping to make up for the loss of events that students were already facing in this weird and unusual year. It wasn’t announced that Silent Night would happen until four days before MyGen. 

“We didn’t really think it (Silent Night) was going to happen,” said sophomore Nathaniel Boer, a second-year SAC cabinet member. “And so, we were like ‘There’s been so much gone from this year. If we can kind of combine two traditions into one and try to give some semblance of normalcy.’” 

Because the event was prefaced with the changes that come with COVID-19, regulations required some problem-solving. Some of those problems included accommodating the large crowds. In order to allow for the most people, SAC created a second show to allow more people access to see the event. The shows were held at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Oct. 24. 

Boer, as well as other performers described the aspect of having two shows as weird. Each individual discussed the difference in energy levels between the two show times. The later show sold out days prior to the event, whereas the earlier show had a great deal of extra seats left over.

“I think back to the 6 o’clock show, and that one seemed a little weird,” Boer said. “I think everyone there kind of felt that just because there were so few people there in terms of what we normally have.” 

While it was a unique experience of having two shows, Boer predicts that next year’s MyGen will most likely return to the normal routine of having one show at the later time frame. 

Even the new accommodations were no match for the excitement that the event ensued for the audience. Both shows filled Rediger Chapel as the Taylor community enjoyed a variety of genres of music. SAC created an atmosphere of excitement and fun. 

The night’s performances started out with the 2018 COIN song, ‘Growing Pains,’ moving back into time to songs like Brittany Spears’ 1998 hit, ‘Baby One More Time.’ The groups’ choice of music aimed to cover songs that resemble the current generation of students at Taylor, ranging from 1998 to 2020. The music ranged in genres to create a diverse repertoire. 

Outside of the diverse music, performers offered unique performances to the audience through several outlets. Sophomore Israel Smith and his group provided one of these experiences: back-up dancers. Smith closed the show with Beyoncé’s ‘Love on Top.’ The performer discusses how his performance brought some of his favorite memories because of the audience’s reactions. 

“My favorite part was just getting to see everyone’s reactions to the backup dancers because most people don’t do back-up dancers for MyGen,” Smith said. “And I’ll just add all the key changes. Like, I just love the reactions that people had to it. And then just the very end, the ‘Love on top’ and the final pose, the power pose at the end, was just super fun.” 

Overall, the performers’ main take-away from the event was the joy they had being able to perform together again. They each enjoyed being able to make music together in a live setting and being able to support one another in their musical journeys. 

“My favorite thing about music, especially live music, is just how it can unite people from all different areas of campus, from all different walks of life, and it’s just a really cool way to come together and experience something,” Senior Bailey Miles said. “It’s a good way to use the gifts that God gives us in like a worshipful way. And I love that about music. That’s why I enjoy making music with people and why it was a good distraction from a very busy, stressful semester.”