Open Mic St. Jay has moved to a new stage and is getting ready to kick off a new season of diverse community entertainment on Friday, December 7 from 7-10pm. Performers of all variety are encouraged to participate, and no advance registration is required. Just show up half an hour early and sign up for a time slot.

Open Mic St. Jay began more than a decade ago as a project of a local substance abuse prevention coalition. For years, it has welcomed students in middle school through college to take ownership of the program by planning, promoting, and hosting activities. More recently, students have learned stage tech, event management, and public performance while honing their creative abilities in an extremely inclusive, safe, fun, and supportive venue.

Formerly housed in Catamount Arts’ Outback Artspace building since 2013, the program has moved to the former Grist Mill Tavern space next to RecFit on Perkins Street in St. Johnsbury. With the move comes a new moniker – Open Stage at the Cavern; the Old English typography on the Tavern sign made the “T” look like a “C” and reminded staff of the Cavern Club, where the Beatles got their start.

Community members of all ages are invited to share music, dance, poetry, comedy, and theater or to listen and support those who perform. No experience is necessary to perform on stage or join the crew. Each week will feature a special guest artist to anchor, open, and close the show. Stay tuned also for workshops led by entertainment industry professionals and Music and Entertainment Industry Student Association members.

Local musician Pam McCann will be the Open Stage coordinator, assisted by interns from the Music Business and Industry program at Northern Vermont University – Lyndon and Catamount Arts/KCP Presents Production Manager Derek Campbell. “This is a beautiful space, with a long history of offering live entertainment,” said Pam. “We’re grateful to Casey Rodd and Rodd Roofing who own the space and have worked with us to make it a warm and inviting venue.”

Pam McCann is a drummer, vocalist, songwriter and recording artist whose voice and musicality are broad-ranged. She is known for her powerful style of singing lead from behind the drums and has worked and toured professionally since she was a teen. She performs regularly throughout the region with a host of bands and artists, and looks forward to introducing many of these artists to the Open Stage crowds.

Starting this Friday, December 7, Open Stage will recur weekly through the winter months. Sign-ups will start at 6:30 p.m., and performers will have a ten-minute maximum time slot. Performers of all ages, genres, and expressions are welcome and encouraged. For more information about Open Stage at the Cavern, contact Catamount Arts at 802-748-2600, ext. 108.


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