MyGen once again dazzled, entertained and captivated Taylor University, as it returned for its 22nd edition.
MyGen is an annual tradition hosted by the Student Activities Council (SAC) where students perform renditions of contemporary music. The acts range from solo acts to a brass band, with the only rule being that no song can be older than 22 years. This rule explains the name MyGen (a name inspired by the saying “My Generation”) with 22 being the average age of a senior student at Taylor.
SAC President senior Amber Van Kalker organized the show, themed “Candyland,” which lived up to its name of pastel-colored, sugary decorations and vivid backdrops. Candyland is a simple racing board game created by Eleanor Abbott and published by Milton Bradley in 1948.
Van Kalker said there was a lot more intentionality put into the event beyond the theme.
“We tried our best to reach as many people as possible through this event and that was really a common conversation throughout the whole time of planning — not (just) making it only for a specific part of campus but really wanting it to reach as many people as possible,” Van Kalker said.
SAC’s efforts were mirrored on the stage, as participants from almost every dorm and year on campus serenaded a packed Rediger Auditorium.
A noteworthy performance early into the evening was by sophomore Addie Dennis, who sang “All I Ask” by Adele.
The musical journey continued with a funk band from the second floor of Samuel Morris Hall, performing a medley of songs that included Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk." The audience engaged with songs like "Midnight City," having people swaying aggressively back and forth in their seats, while “November Air” prompted phone flashlights to be pulled out and waved above heads.
The final act of the night, a rendition of “Good 4 U” by Olivia Rodrigo had hordes of people crushed up against the stage, and many more bouncing on their toes in their seats
The event was much more than just a spectacle for some. Junior Joey Breckel, who played the acoustic guitar for one of the bands, said that he was pushed out of his comfort zone by performing in front of a crowd.
"I was nervous at first, but it was a blast to hear everyone cheering or singing back at me,” Breckel said.
Van Kalker expressed her excitement over the event's success and the crowds that attended. A total of 980 tickets were sold, a significant increase from approximately 700 tickets in the previous year.
“I feel like this show for some reason was just so special,” Van Kalker said.
Sophomore Meg Shaffer, SAC social media manager alongside Van Kalker, highlighted the inclusive nature of this year's MyGen as what was special.
"Whether it's family or staff members or students, MyGen is one event that brings everyone together unified and listening to good music and having a good time," Shaffer said
There were much more than families, staff members and Taylor students in the crowd, with significant numbers of Eastbrook South Elementary School students in the audience.
With a successful turnout, MyGen remains an eagerly anticipated annual tradition.