‘American Idol’ finalist Bret Loewenstern takes stage at Hillel’s Open-Mic Night

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American Idol finalist Bret Loewenstern performs at the UM Hillel’s Open Mic Wednesday night. Giancarlo Falconi // Staff Photographer

“American Idol” finalist Bret Loewenstern performs at the UM Hillel’s Open Mic Wednesday night. Giancarlo Falconi // Staff Photographer

Singers, songwriters and comedians stepped up to the mic at the Braman Miller Center for Jewish Life on Wednesday for Open-Mic Night on the rooftop patio.

Strewn about the illuminated open balcony were pianos, guitars and microphones that any eager attendee could grab to perform, as well as countless snacks and beverages.

Brett Loewenstern, a University of Miami graduate and former American Idol contestant, set the scene with his performance of “Nobody but Me,” a song he wrote for a class project during his time at UM. Loewenstern reflected on his University of Miami experience with nostalgia. “The most important thing for me was learning how to nurture my inner artist,” Loewenstern said.

Next, Faisal Malik stepped up to the mic and delivered a self-deprecating comedy routine full of dry humor. “He was hilariously punny,” said Gabriel Berenbaum, a senior studying songwriting. “This is the first time that they’re doing this and it’s really exciting.”

Berenbaum went on to perform his original song “This Road,” which was met with applause from the crowd.

The building has been Hillel’s home since 1953. It underwent major renovations last year after a $2.5 million gift from the Braman and Miller families before being unveiled in December.

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