Open mic brings out music and more

Feb 16, 2024

MATTAPOISETT – On a brisk Friday evening, poetry, stories and plenty of music filled the Mattapoisett Museum during an open mic night.

At the Feb. 16 open mic, musicians strummed instruments spanning the guitar to the ukulele to the Irish bouzouki and sang songs spanning multiple genres and decades. Some performed original poems and musical pieces.

New Bedford resident Dave Sterenchock hosted the open mic, which occurs monthly. During the show, attendees passed around a jar for donations towards the museum, which has “wonderful” acoustics, Sterenchock said.

“It’s just a nice venue, and everybody is nice,” he said. “The people are pleasant, and there’s a respect for the musicians. I just enjoy it.”

Sterenchock performed two songs, one of which was “Autumn” by the Edgar Winter Group.

Musicians at the open mic also played works by the Beatles, Joan Baez, Miranda Lambert and Billy Joel, among others. 

Fairhaven resident Ming Da Qu performed two original instrumental pieces on the guitar, the first of which he said was “upbeat” while the second was “less upbeat.” Then he played “Pyramid Song” by Radiohead.

John Araujo and Peter Hebda played “Amos Brown,” an original piece Araujo came up with after watching a television program about Martin Luther King Jr., he said.

The song chronicled an astronaut named Amos Brown, who is Black and from a different planet. Upon investigating a signal, Brown travels to Earth.

“He’s thinking, ‘I’m going to some advanced race of civilized people,’ Araujo said before the performance. ‘This place is going to be way better than where I come from.’ And he kind of realized it wasn’t that great.”

Musicians play three songs or for 15 minutes at the event, according to Sterenchock. Names written on slips of paper and drawn randomly determined the order of performances.

“We entertain each other,” Sterenchock said.