Most college students want to see their professor do something silly. On Karaoke Night, the Pre-Health Club fulfilled that wish and helped a good cause at the same time.
Students donated money to the American Cancer Society. Every dollar was a vote for a professor, and the professors who netted the most donations had to sing on stage. The winners were Professor Mark Shroyer, Professor Matthew Jones-Rhoades, and [President] Roger Taylor and the Fulton County Boys (the boys being Dean of the College Larry Breitborde and Chief Financial Officer Tom Axtell). The event raised $250.00 for the American Cancer Society.
“I really appreciated the effort the professors put into their songs,” freshman Shelly Bhanot said, who acted as the show’s Master of Ceremonies. She was surprised by the singers’ dedication.
The professors took their duty seriously. Shroyer dressed up like Justin Beiber, wig and all, for his rendition of “Baby,” and Jones-Rhoades used circuit boards and an adapted helmet to turn himself into a robot to sing Styx’s “Mr. Roboto.”
“The professors had more time to plan something goofy [than the student performers], they got to put on a big show,” said senior Jim Hanson, a member of the Karaoke Night crowd.
Despite the lack of prep time, the student body was more than willing. The Pre-Health club had to close the sign-ups early, because too many people wanted to sign up. Jordyn Stewart, a freshman who sang during the evening, thought that this might be because karaoke is a way to sing in public without the pressure of a talent show.
“At a talent show, they expect you to be really good and play guitar and sing your own original songs while playing spoons on your knees or a harmonica or something,” Stewart said, “and I’m not really good at that.”
Stewart said that, although as an actress she’s used to being on stage, she is not used to singing in front of people. Although the idea intimidated her, she decided to leave her comfort zone and do it anyway. She grew more nervous when the karaoke machine wouldn’t start, so she decided to ease the tension by telling jokes.
“I’m a fan of really bad jokes … and I thought I would share that with the audience,” Stewart said. After they had heard her jokes, Stewart said the audience wouldn’t be able to take her too seriously.
They didn’t, and the audience was singing along by the end of the song.
Although the student and professor performances were great, the highlight of the night was Taylor singing with the Fulton County Boys. Their songs, “Hot School Polka” and “Don’t Look Down at Your Shoes,” took classic song tunes and changed the words for Knox audiences. Since Taylor is leaving at the end of the year, it was probably the last time students would ever hear the words “financial impregnability” in a polka. As Taylor sang, freshman Quiana Klossner and junior Michael Martinez danced to the music. The audience laughed at the song’s jokes, sang loudly during the choruses and gave the band a long ovation at the set’s end.
Bhanot, who is also the Pre-Health Club’s co chairwoman, was very happy with how the event turned out. “Everyone had a jolly old time in the Jolly Roger.”