UW-Eau Claire students perform original songs in singer/songwriter slam

Students wrote and performed songs competitively Saturday night at The Cabin


Photo by Andrea Montgomery

Saturday night at The Cabin brought some competition as students came to showcase their talents and impress the judges sitting in the audience.

Story by Andrea Montgomery, Staff Writer

The Singer/Songwriter Slam brought five UW-Eau Claire students to the stage with original songs.

The rules for the slam meant performers had to arrive before 7:15 p.m. at The Cabin in order to prepare to play only original songs. There were three rounds of performance in the competition, each of which could not be more than five minutes.

Judges were seated throughout the audience evaluating the performers.

During the first round all of the contestants got to perform, which brought Chanel Harwick and Daniel McMahon to the stage with Harwick on lead vocals and McMahon accompanying on the guitar.

“We put all the songs we put together for tonight in an hour and a half,” McMahon said.

The pair said they had just been having a “jam session” in their dorm. Harwick said she asked McMahon if he “believe(s) in dreams” and “believe(s) in money” when convincing him to accompany her in the competition.

“I haven’t gotten nervous in years,” McMahon said, “but I was nervous for this.”

The second performer, Will Lyberg, has been singing for five years but said he’s always enjoyed music.

“It can be intimidating but it’s mostly fun,” Lyberg said about performing in front of the packed crowd at The Cabin.

Lyberg said the relaxed atmosphere made it easier to perform without nerves. He said it’s just fun for him to get up and perform.

Eduardo Rafael went next, performing what he said was not his best song but his favorite song he’s written. He called the song a summary of his life about his aunts, sisters and first girlfriend.

He doesn’t get nervous for regular gigs, but does for competitions, Rafael said. Music has been a part of his life since childhood, he said.

Geoff Carter finished off the first round with his song “Light Potion.” Carter said he wrote his song about friends.

Carter has always been a singer and said this performance was a way to step out of the shadows and show off his talents, since he usually does not perform the songs he writes.

Every round, someone was eliminated by the judges. Harwick and McMahon were the first to be eliminated, while the rest of the performers played another original song each.

The final showdown took place between Carter and Lyberg, with Lyberg winning the competition. After he was declared winner he took to the stage to play a few more original songs before the show came to an end.