Every Saturday Virtual Open Mic | A 3-Year Anniversary Celebration To Remember

Every Saturday Virtual Open Mic - Celebrating 3 Years, 156 consecutive open mics. Share a weekly evening of music online with friends from near and far.
Every Saturday Virtual Open Mic - Celebrating 3 Years, 156 consecutive open mics. Share a weekly evening of music online with friends from near and far.

Every Saturday Virtual Open Mic musicians and friends got together the week of May 6 as they do every Saturday, but that Saturday was different. We celebrated three years of virtual open mics, 156 consecutive Saturday evenings of wonderful music, friends, fun, and community-building.

Our online presence has grown, but so has the geographic spread of our community. Musicians and music lovers come in not only from the northeastern Illinois area but from southern and western Illinois and Chicago. We have regular attendees from California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Idaho, and Washington D.C. We’ve had guests from as far away as England and India and Australia. Some of us from Illinois even had the opportunity to meet geographically far away regulars when we’ve traveled to their vicinity.

As our reach extends across the world, we continue to enjoy and share the sense of true community that has always characterized our musical experience in Woodstock, Illinois.

Every Saturday Virtual Open Mic Celebration Featured 32 Performers

  1. Mike Eckert
  2. Ken Balmes
  3. Dave Ashby
  4. Tony Willis
  5. Tricia Alexander
  6. Sheila Harrison
  7. Andy Andrick
  8. Paul Klonowski
  9. Mark Lyons & Julie Monroe
  10. Carol Obertubbesing
  11. Douglas Curnutte
  12. Norm Siegel
  13. Zack Niman
  14. Larry Hobdey
  15. Lisa Walker
  16. Nancy Grobarek
  17. Forgotten But Not Gone (John Burgess & Carol Francis)
  18. George Klingelhofer
  19. Mike Reed
  20. Jeremy Simon
  21. Bob Conway
  22. Patty Peace
  23. Jim Fine
  24. Wattle & Daub (Tim & Susan Mocarski)
  25. David Callan
  26. Mike Kruse
  27. Randy Anderson
  28. Lia McCoo
  29. Kent Fishburn & Deb Firak
  30. Keith Johnson
  31. John Benischek
  32. Small Potatoes (Rich Prezioso & Jacquie Manning)

Here’s What We Said

Here are a few of the comments made during the Open Mic or in chat or in correspondence following the Open Mic:

  • Thank you for doing this. It’s a great event!
  • This is a great place. I love everybody coming in, seeing what everybody is doing. It’s fabulous!
  • Thanks a lot guys — Jeremy, Andy — this has been fantastic.
  • As I think back over this last three years, all I think of is gratitude…
  • 156 Saturdays in a row — that’s amazing. Originally I heard about it on Facebook and realized it was a way we could still connect. Thanks to Jeremy and Andy in responding to a play or die situation for many of us.
  • Three years — it doesn’t seem like that! Of course, originally they said COVID would be over in 6 months, so I guess I’m thinking it’s only really been six months, right?
  • I want to thank <one of the group> for talking me into coming to one of these things a couple of years ago. Boy, he was right. What a wonderful community and a safe place to play songs and try out whatever you want. Thanks also to Andy and Jeremy for all the hard work they put in every week for the last three years.
  • Thank you all for three years of wonderful Saturdays.
  • I live for these Saturday nights!
  • This is great, really great.
  • I’ve certainly enjoyed the last several months being able to take in other performers and share my own music hobby. 
  • Andy and Jeremy are true warriors — 156 Saturdays in a row, truly through thick and think and all kinds of craziness. Music online got so many of us through so much, the magnitude beggars words.
  • If not for the OSM Virtual Saturday nights, especially during our long COVID hibernation, I would have been singing the song, “They’re coming to take me away!” Very true for sure.
  • Thank you all. It is a gift to share music with you. And thanks to Andy and Jeremy for all your work.
  • You are awesome, Andy and Jeremy. Thank you so much. And thank you all you fine musicians!

And of course as people chatted, there were lots of hearts and hugs.

A Special Message from Andy

What a wonderful evening of great music and laughter. It was a celebration of new friends and old, and we never had to leave home. I hope we can celebrate this way every year and start a new tradition.

This is all about community and our love and concern for each other. You can now truly say that you have friends all across this country!

See you next Saturday.

A Special Message from Jeremy

What a pleasure it’s been to see this online community grow over the last three years! Together, we have created something really special — a warm and welcoming place where people can come together from all over and share their music or poetry, be with friends, and support each other as artists. In a time when the Internet seems to be so full of divisiveness and hateful rhetoric, we are proof that it can also be used to bring people together, to heal one another, and to bring more beauty into the world.

Our Numbers Continue to Grow

One of our participants with a particularly good memory reminded us that in a pre-program test, in addition to Andy, there were just four musicians, two from one family! Yet over these three years following that test run, we have averaged 30 attendees every single week, and for this wonderful celebration, we welcomed more than 50 not to mention a number of others who couldn’t be there this past Saturday but are part of our community.

Please Support Off Square Music

Want to make sure we can keep this going for years to come? Consider making a donation to support Off Square Music. You’ll find a Donate button in the left column of every page of this site.

When you get to the PayPal screen for your donation, there’s a place to add a note. Please mention the Every Saturday Virtual Open Mic so we know what kind of impact we’re having.

Off Square Music is a 501(c)3 non-profit, so all donations are tax-deductible.

What Is Every Saturday Virtual Open Mic?

Hosted by Off Square Music, these weekly open mics on Zoom feature performers from our community and beyond. Six to eight or nine people perform every week. Each person or group performs two songs or a ten-minute set (whichever is less). Doors open at 6:30 pm CDT, and the music starts at 7:00 pm CDT, usually running until 8:15 or 8:30 pm CDT. People are welcome to hang out and chat or join in on Andy’s weekly music quiz at the end of the evening.

To receive the Zoom link to these evenings of good music and friendship, you must be on our email list.

For more information about our Every Saturday Virtual Open Mics visit THIS PAGE on our site.

Every Saturday Virtual Open Mic – How to Participate

Be sure you’re on the Off Square Music mailing list so you’ll receive emails with the link before the Open Mic and a follow-up email with the recording. Email sign-up is in the right column of every page of this site.

How to Perform

If you’d like to perform at one of our virtual open mics or any of our other music events, please visit our sign-up page and fill out the form.

There’s some great music coming out of our Off Square Music Open Mics. Check out our YouTube page or the Video Gallery on this website.

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