- Discover CIU
- Academic Programs
- Online Studies
- Become a Student
- Current Students
- Rams Athletics
- Resources & Services
By Melissa McCutchan
CIU Student Writer
Columbia International University students set aside their textbooks and picked up their musical instruments for Acoustarockarappapaloozastockfest, CIU’s annual talent show.
Performances in this dynamic show were as diverse as CIU’s student body, ranging from humorous poetry reading to original songs performed by campus bands.
The evening was co-hosted by senior Challie Shaver and junior Caleb Hamilton, who kept the audience laughing as they introduced each act with trivia about the upcoming performers.
Some of the facts were true (a pianist who, as a child, preferred to somersault instead of walking), while others were not (a guitarist whose bird-watching hobby had earned him some trouble with the Secret Service).
The evening began with a bang as senior Lauren Forester and junior Elizabeth Braswell joined with two friends from outside of CIU to perform “Barton Hollow” by The Civil Wars.
“It was kind of a rush opening for Acousta, but CIU is good at being excited,” Forester said. “It was fun getting people excited for the show.”
The following acts continued to surprise and delight the audience. Highlights included a medley of Passenger’s “Let Her Go” and The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young,” performed by Tim Caiello, Levi Hall, Abigail Siemens, and Chad Burnett. Freshman Kinsey Phillips played a hammered dulcimer and sophomore Leah Thomas took to the stage to perform her original song, “Far Away.”
“I was impressed by every single act,” sophomore Tim LaPointe said. “There were so many people who performed that I had no clue were musical.
Perhaps the audience favorite for the night was “Walt’s Medley,” a variety of popular Disney songs performed by Courtney and Jeremy Reasoner, Kyle Neal, Kyle Stikeleather, and Bethany Stewart. The group’s incredible talent and variety earned them loud cheering and a standing ovation.
“It was really nerve-wracking being up there, but we were having fun being up there,” Stewart said. “It was really affirming to know we worked that hard and people enjoyed it. That was exciting for us.”
Overall, Acoustarockarappapaloozastockfest reflected the community of CIU: lively, energetic, and glorifying to God.
“Acousta has been my favorite night of the year, two years in a row, here at CIU,” LaPointe said. “It was a wonderful experience and I can’t wait for next year!”
See more Acousta photos from the camera of CIU student photographer Timothy Wolff at the CIU Flickr page: