Singer/Songwriter Night is gaining traction as a means to connect music on campus to the local community. The Carolina Union Activities Board hosted an evening of solo musical acts for an in-and-out audience of about 30 people in the Union Cabaret from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday. "It was phenomenal," CUAB member Stephanie Stewart said after the event. Stewart now is the organizer of the event. The showcase was in limbo after the Carolina Union Activities Board graduating class of 2006 left the event without a leader. Stewart stepped in as an organizer and a performer, and the open mic night has been growing ever since. "We're just trying to create a kind of set pattern with it, something that people know about and really look forward to," she said. That pattern has increasingly focused on including a diverse group of performers, composed of both undergraduates, graduates and members of the community. This look beyond the campus community is important to the event's future success, Stewart said. John Fallon brought a style of music to the event bred in his native Ireland. A post-doctoral candidate at the UNC School of Pharmacy, Fallon only recently came to the United States, but finds performing here and near his home to be comparable. "It's similar everywhere, really - you just play," he said. One nice thing about the evening, Fallon said, was the attentive audience. "A young, intelligent student audience is a bonus." While his music hasn't changed much from what he played overseas, he has also found inspiration for his music locally. His first song, "Mother," was about a man he met at The Cave on Franklin Street who lost his mother in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. "I've never played it for anyone before," he said. "It felt good." Amber Dutton, a UNC graduate and music teacher at Smith Middle School, also performed. Teaching children and performing to an older crowd has its similarities and differences, she said. "It's kind of like a daily performance with kids, except your feedback is louder," she said. While Dutton graduated with a musical performance major, she said she loves playing guitar and singing because it is more expressive. "You can do whatever you want." Writing and playing her own songs in a relaxed environment is a luxury Dutton did not always enjoy while practicing flute in college. "I wish that I had thought of things like that when I was practicing on my flute for hours in the basement of Hill Hall," she said. Even though she's only been playing guitar and writing music for a couple years, she has found it to be a hobby she can't give up. "Even if I try to not do it, I can't help it," she said. "I have to do this - it's a part of me." Contact the Arts Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.