Love is in the air at Valentine’s Day dinner, concert

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Mitch Clark, guest artist, performs at the pre-Valentine’s Day dinner and concert held in Wichita Room I and II in CSC on Feb. 12. Mitch Clark performed covers of various love songs to an audience of 30 people. Photo by Rachel Johnson

The soft and smooth voice of Mitch Clark with the cozy guitar filled the student center, Feb. 12 for an early Valentine’s Day celebration. 

Lollipops and flower petals decorated the tables in room Wichita, 30 students enjoyed spaghetti, meatballs, bread, salad, and various desserts from Market Street. 

Juan Mercado, sociology juinor, said it cost $1500 to bring in Clark and all of the food and decorations. 

Erin Hagy, marketing senior, was the University Programming Board chair in charge of the event. Hagy said she personally picked Clark. 

“Well I met [Clark] about a year and a half ago, and I just followed him on social media, and after talking with him I just thought that he would be a good fit,” Hagy said. 

Hagy said she thought being close to Valentine’s Day that having a dinner and a concert would make it more personal. She said that she thought the turn out was perfect for the size of the room. 

Eleni Garcia, nursing freshman, said, “It was way better that I thought it would be, and I loved [Clark’s] voice. I’m kind of said that he didn’t play all of me by John Legend.”

During Clark’s performance, students sang along and occasionally Clark would stop singing and let the audience fill in the lyrics. 

“My favorite part was singing ‘Get Low’ and then I would drop out in a few places and everyone seemed to know that song, so they would fill in the lyrics. That is always funny to me, you just cut out and people fill in the curse words,” Clark said.

During Clark’s performance students were encouraged to sing along or embrace the artist whose song he was covering. 

Preston Busby, criminal justice freshman, was one of the students who started dancing during Clark’s performance of Whitney Houston’s “I want to dance with somebody.”

“The music inspired me to dance,” Busby said.

At the end of the show Clark set up a table where he sold keychains and bracelets that his mother makes for him out of his old broken guitar strings.

“My mom started making [the bracelets specifically] about a year ago. My old roommate is a musician and his mom is into arts and crafts so she was making earrings and jewelry out of his old strings,” Clark said. 

Clark said he had never seen that before and it would be a good way for a college student to market his stuff. His mom looked into it and thought she could do it.

“The keychains were an idea from a girl in Connecticut who bought on of the bracelets and a week later posted about making it into a keychain. The bracelet was too small for her, so she decided to put her keys on it and make it a keychain,” Clark said. 

Clark’s mom took the scraps from the bracelets and turned those into keychains. She puts them for sale in the spa she works at, too. Clark said he would love to come back again, but next time with a buddy of his who does magic, they perform a magic and mayhem show and play off each other’s talents.

“We met at [Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities], and now we are best friends,” Clark said. 

Clark played covers from a variety of artists like Maroon 5, Jack Johnson, Whitney Houston, Ed Sheeran,  and some covers of Disney songs from the Lion King. He even threw in some of his own originals, including one called ” Do I stay.”

“[Do I Stay] is about when you love someone or something and you would do anything to hold onto them, but everything is telling you to let it go. That’s not good, but you stay because you are like I can’t go, they still have my CDs, or because of this crazy thing called love,” Clark said. 

As Clark played through out the evening, he told the audience a little bit about his background and how he came to be the artist that is today. He talked about how growing  up he was an athlete, and it wasn’t until he had heart problems and could no longer do the active things he used to that his life started to change. 

“I took up golf, because as most of us know, there is like no running or anything required for golf,” Clark said. 

From there Clark decided to go to college for golf. His freshman year of college he hurt his hand pretty bad and could no longer play golf. The golf recruiter he worked with at the time was also worked as a music pastor at a local church and invited Clark to go play guitar with him.

“I picked up my first guitar freshman year and I fell in love with music,” Clark said.