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AcoustiCafé provides student musicians with opportunity to perform, connect

| Thursday, September 16, 2021

Notre Dame’s AcoustiCafé provides student performers with an opportunity to play their instruments, use their voices and show off their musical abilities to fellow students every Thursday evening on Library Lawn. The slate of performers starts at 9 p.m. and concludes at 11 p.m.

The first performer at this week’s AcoustiCafé is sophomore Nick Lynch, who will be singing and playing guitar. Lynch is a member of the Band of the Fighting Irish and while he is not looking for a career in music, he enjoys playing for fun and has an interest in music theory. Although Lynch is a new guitarist, his experience in the marching band means he is no stranger to public performance. This includes his AcoustiCafé debut last year, which happened to be virtual.

“I performed for nobody on an online call for 30 minutes,” Lynch said.

Lynch shared that, even though he is still a little nervous because he has never played guitar and sung in front of people, he is excited to put himself out there and have fun.

The second performer is sophomore Taylor Erickson, who is scheduled to go on stage at 9:30 p.m. Erickson, like Lynch, will be playing guitar and singing and is a member of the marching band.

I have been playing music since I was about 11 years old, but I taught myself how to play the guitar during my senior year of high school and have been singing just as long,” Erickson said.

Erickson said she signed up for AcoustiCafé after she saw an email advertisement and thought the event looked fun. She said she is excited “to have a good time and try to help others do the same.”

She hinted at performing songs including “Girl Crush” and “Better Man” by Little Big Town.

Performing at 10:30 p.m. is first-year Emma Mangino. She has been performing since she was in sixth grade and writing her own song lyrics since she was 12 years old. She said music has been an integral part of her life.

“It’s how I connect with people; there’s this deep acknowledgement between musicians that you can’t find anywhere else,” Mangino said.

Mangino discovered AcoustiCafé after digging online for opportunities to get involved musically on campus. 

I love that there is this opportunity to perform every Thursday night, you can just have four people just do their thing,” she said.

Mangino said she is excited to be able to perform at Notre Dame even though she has stage anxiety.  

Initially scheduled as the night’s final performers was the duo of seniors Matt Tighe and Ryan Hembree. With Hembree as the singer and Tighe as lead guitarist, the duo was forced to reschedule after Hembree fell ill and lost his voice.

Tighe has played guitar since he was 8 years old and even taught himself to play the piano at 13. In an email, he referred to music as “a really important part” of his life. Tighe said he appreciates the freedom AcoustiCafé allows performers.

I think it’s an awesome idea. Even in just our set, we’ll be doing about four different genres of music, so it’ll be a really fun time,” he said.

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