Troy Night Out is a monthly arts and cultural event that takes place on the last Friday of every month in downtown Troy. Last month, the streets, alleyways, and local venue stages were graced with the talents of several performing arts groups from the Rensselaer campus and area community who showcased their talents in music, dance, song, and more.
“Building a sense of community beyond the campus is important,” said Cary Dresher, associate dean of the off-campus commons. “The opportunity to sponsor a Troy Night Out for a second year in a row has allowed us to put into practice some of the ideas put forth in CLASS, specifically, helping Rensselaer students to connect to the greater Troy community businesses, residents, and other institutions.” CLASS is Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students.
“Our students, faculty, and staff were able to participate and attend an event in the city of Troy, which led them to find out firsthand all that the city has to offer,” Dresher said. “Many new businesses have opened in the city, and there’s no better way to introduce our students to these places than encouraging them to attend a Troy Night Out. The student performances were fantastic, and the crowd of students and Troy residents that I saw attending this event made all of the hard work that we put into organizing the event worthwhile.”
The opportunity to sponsor a Troy Night Out for a second year in a row has allowed us to practice the ideas put forth in CLASS, specifically, helping Rensselaer students to connect to the greater Troy community businesses, residents, and other institutions.”—Cary Dresher
Rensselaer’s musical groups offered classic jazz, contemporary funk, big band swing, and Afro-Cuban grooves performed by the RPI Jazz Ensembles in Barker Park. Troy Savings Bank Music Hall featured “an evening of performances” that included Eddie Ade Knowles, professor of practice in the arts, who led Ensemble Congeros, along with guest artist Jeanine Ouderkirk, a Capital Region vocalist and instrumentalist.
In addition, several a cappella performances in the Music Hall highlighted the vocal talents of the Rensselyrics, Duly Noted, Partial Credit, and the Rusty Pipes.
Elsewhere in the City of Troy, RPIgnite, a drumline group, performed at Monument Square; members of the RPI Juggling and Unicycling Club also entertained visitors. Programs held in the Arts Center of the Capital Region Black Box Theatre included the RPI Dance Team, followed by Sheer Idiocy, Rensselaer’s only improv troupe.
Troy Night Out regularly draws over 1,000 people onto the streets of Troy. Attendees are able to enjoy more than 30 art events, 15 music venues, and over 20 restaurants, as well as unique boutiques of all varieties. Dresher noted that he hopes Rensselaer’s participation in the September event will become a regular tradition.