Students Unplug and Unwind at Music on the Mountain

Fish 'n' Chips, CMU Mens a cappella group, preform during Music on the Mountain


Unwinding with friends and taking a break from technology was the theme of Music on the Mountain, an event presented by Central Michigan University’s Department of Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services class, RPL 431, in Finch Fieldhouse Friday night. 

The members of RPL 431 worked collaboratively to bring Music on the Mountain to life with the help of sponsors including Ric’s Food Center, B’s Music, Painted Turtle, Max and Emily’s Eatery, Kroger, Celebration! Cinema, Mount Pleasant McDonald’s, Art Reach of Mid Michigan and Unplugged Outfitters. 

Unplugged Outfitters played a role in inspiring the goal of the event, which was for attendees to leave their phone at the door and enjoy the event, technology-free. Attendees who left their phone at the door, with the promise of safe return, were entered into a raffle for prizes donated by the sponsors. 

The event also raised money for Save a Heart program that supports patients and families at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Congenital Heart Center.

Jordan Bruursema, one of the founders of Unplugged and faculty member in the Recreation, Parks and Leisure Department, has a personal tie to the foundation. He and his family spent a whole summer at the hospital with his late son Sawyer, who was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. 

“It goes to support the families while they are taking away from their jobs, and their homes and their regular lives,” Bruursema said. “And helps them with gas cards and hotel stays and food and all sorts of amazing things that this hospital and program provided us.”

Attendees were able to rock climb, color, paint rocks, and listen to live music and spoken poetry to a dimly lit atmosphere. Trail mix, lemonade, and coffee were also provided. 

For the musical trio, Crystal Images, it was their first time performing at a campus event. The members, sophomore Orion Brill, junior Zachery Boyce, and freshman Tyler Runyan have been creating music together for about a year. 

“The atmosphere here is lovely - It’s just everyone, hanging out, having a good time,” Brill said. I love this kind of setting.” 

The venue reminded Boyce of a laid-back brewery atmosphere with minimal pressure from the audience. There was a slight mix-up with the microphones, but the performers worked through it. 

“No matter what happens technologically you do what you can, and you do your best and it doesn’t matter if you can’t hear one voice because the mic’s not on,” Boyce said. “What matters is that you’re singing for people and their enjoying it, and that’s what happened tonight”

Other performances included spoken poetry by Sandra Anderson, acapella performance by Fish N’ Chips, country music by Ryan Yuncker, as well as performance by Kris Kholer, and Pineapple Psychology. 

Commerce junior Cara Auda, was part of the team that put on the event, and it was her job to record how well the event matched the hypothetical timeline for how things should run, so that it can be evaluated later. 

“We wanted to do a music event, and we thought about doing an open mic at first, then we thought that we wanted to kind of do something that was more themed than that,” Auda said. 

Their goal was to have at least 50 percent of the attendees leave their phones at the door, and Auda thought they did well in that aspect.