Written on Stirling Books and Brew’s website is this: “There’s always something going on at Stirling.”
This still rings true, as last Wednesday there was a live music performance from a rather unlikely duo.
The duo consisted of Novi Senior Kaylee Peterson, who sang and played the guitar while Professor of History Joseph Ho provided his skills on the piano and violin.
Briefly featured was Pinkney Senior Justin Loukotka with his mandolin before he had to head back to be on time for a class that night.
Before the duo even played a song, an audience gathered, including some of Peterson’s friends and family.
When they finished testing their mics, it was packed.
The duo performed songs mostly written by Maggie Rogers, who Peterson said was one of her and Ho’s favorite artists. Along with that, the duo played “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver and “Me & My Dog” by Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus.
Peterson spoke to the audience between performances and said how her dad always came to watch whenever he could and how “he always is moved to tears at some point when he’s watching me play, so keep an eye on him.”
The last song of the night was an old country song called “Dixieland Delight” by the band Alabama. This was to the delight of some in the audience who knew the song. They joined in with her singing and clapping along.
Despite being a country song, which Peterson said she found “annoying because the baseball boys keep playing it at parties,” Peterson said she found the genre “secretly enjoyable.”
With the performance finished and the audience trickling out the door beneath Stirling’s neon sign, Dr. Ho said he has always had an appreciation for music.
“Music has always been a part of most of my life,” Ho said. “I started playing the piano when I was five and the violin when I was seven.”
According to Ho, the unique duo formed by chance.
“Kaylee was in the honor course I taught, ‘American Encounters with China’. In time, we got to know each other and our love for playing music. We thought it would be a good idea to practice some songs together,” Ho said. “After that, the rest is history.”
How delightful to hear of the student-prof collaboration. I am certain it was grand!