It seemed that Capree Garner had been hosting events for years, but this was actually her first rodeo. In the Commons ballroom, while hurrying from table to table, and assuring that every chair was in place, Garner smiled and greeted every audience member upon arrival.
“The Lunchbox Special,” a UMBC radio show that airs every Monday from 3 to 4 p.m., has been around for a little over a year. Garner, a senior media and communications studies major, is the show’s anchor, and she keeps the crowds tuned in with her humor and charisma. But, with a relatively new show comes new work. This past Monday, Garner decided to ditch the radio show for a night, and host a multi-cultural event, showcasing the different talents that UMBC has to offer.
Garner has been planning this event for some time now. The event was a little nerve-wrecking for her to put together, but with the help of her co-anchor Stixz Wilson, a junior majoring in media and communications, the two managed to host an amazing show. However, Garner did face a few last minute issues. After four talents dropped out of the show a few hours prior, Capree grew skeptical.
“We were supposed to have 10 performances. I can’t believe they’d drop out at the last minute,” she said. “Well, some had family emergencies, and I wouldn’t have wanted them to perform under that pressure.”
Although these changes of heart caused a few different disturbances in the shows arrangement, the show had to go on. At 8 p.m., the first act was finally ready to hit the stage. Fans waited in anticipation and annoyance, since the show stared thirty minutes late. But hey, at least there were cupcakes.
Gurleen Ahuja was the first performer of the night. She sang a few of her personal favorites, while going back and forth between English and Punjabi lyrics. She even soothed the crowd with a new song that she recently produced, titled “Challenge the Darkness.” Ahuja, a freshman and global studies major, wrote “Challenge the Darkness” with efforts to uplift minorities.
Ahuja’s track is now available on iTunes, and the proceeds are going to a great cause. “All of the money is going to a fund in Honduras,” she said. “I want to help minorities get more attention.”
Following Ahuja, several different performers ranging from rappers, singers and dancers took to the dance floor, and killed the stage. One of the most anticipated performances was the Lip Sync Battle that was performed by Valerie Johnson, a sophomore majoring in biomedical sciences, and Devin McKay, a junior theatre studies major. Capree and Stixz danced along with the two throughout their laughter-filled performance, which included everything from Beyoncé’s “Formation” to Michael Jackson’s “Bad.”
Capree and Stixz finished off the night cooling down the crowd after a night full of strong performances. Garner, though a little disappointed about the turnout, was proud nonetheless.
“Everything worked out smoothly, and the show was a success. I had a great time,” said Garner, at the end of the night. “I thank everyone for all of the help, and can’t wait for the next event.”