Radio Riff Off goes off

Radio Riff Off first-place winner Hannah Winter '27 performs original music at WMUH's Showcase. Photo by Photo Editor Kira Bretsky '27

The Radio Riff Off Showcase, which took place Jan. 27, demonstrated a concert of original music written by our very own Radio Riff Off winners from last semester. Radio Riff Off was an event hosted by WMUH for musicians to display their artistic talent through original songs. They collected submissions, and even though the competition was fierce, finalists were picked and given a final show at the event. The winners were voted on by three judges, one student judge and two industry professionals.

The two students who won were given the opportunity to perform in the Red Doors at the Radio Riff Off Showcase, with the first-place winner headlining. The event started with Harry Glicklin ‘26 opening the show and hosting. He was involved in the planning and organizing for the Radio Riff Off Showcase and helped coordinate with ‘Berg Production as well as gather additional equipment. Glicklin said, “While WMUH has a full-time staff member who was very helpful in this process, it was mostly a student-run event and was a collaboration with lots of people’s different talents. It was really special.”

The second-place winner, Alena Ruckh ‘24, opened the showcase and started with the song “idontwannabeyouanymore” by Billie Eilish, which already had the audience vibing. She continued with two original pieces called “plastic stars” and “tunnel vision,” which were hits amongst the audience. She finished her opening by singing the song “Graceland Too” by Phoebe Bridgers. 

Ruckh expressed being nervous before her performance, but was glad that she took the leap and stepped outside her comfort zone. She said, “I was proud of myself for going through with it, but honestly did not expect to place, as literally every contestant was so incredibly talented. When they called my name for second place, I had to do a double-take! I was so honored to have been chosen as runner-up, and so grateful to have gotten the opportunity to do the competition!”

First-place winner, Hannah Winter ‘27, was the headliner for the event and sang an original song called “Loser,” and followed it with other original pieces. Winter originally applied to participate as she had a huge passion for writing music and wanted to share her talent with others. Once she was on the stage, she was so awed and touched by the audience’s support. Winter said, “It was so welcoming and wonderful to share so much of my music to people who seem to genuinely appreciate it. I’m so grateful for all my friends and family who came. I’m feeling confident in myself and that’s what is making me feel special!” Winter was phenomenal, and the viewers were amazed by her talent. 

Lindsay Batzar ‘26, music director of  WMUH, excitedly said, “I think the performance was really great; it was amazing and emotional to watch students perform songs and I think they’re both well-deserving for winning the competition.”

The showcase was a huge success, and it was a wonderful experience for both the performers and the audience. It was meaningful for aspiring musicians to get a real, hands-on experience on how concerts work. Glicklin explained that this was a great opportunity by saying, “With this event, we try to provide the same concert experience that we give to the professional local bands we invite, so we want to provide that same performance experience to these student musicians.” We hope to see Radio Riff Off continue being a popular event on campus, with more support and love from students to participate and cheer on fellow artists. 

Marilyn Rajesh ‘26 shared this sentiment, saying, “I thought it was amazing, and being a former Radio Riff Off contestant, I am so glad to see so many budding artists given the platform to showcase their original songs and I look forward to seeing more original artists perform their songs on campus.”


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