By Kennedy Tavares
Students in SUNY Plattsburgh’s Music and Theater department banded together to put on a Friday Gallery Concert Oct. 28, to preview the department’s upcoming retention of “9 to 5: The Musical!”
The Friday Gallery Concerts, which are typically held in the Myers building, were moved to the Krompvotz Recital Hall in Hawkins Hall due to renovations. The gallery concerts have been going on for over a decade and were created to give students the much needed experience with their stage performance.
“9 to 5” is an iconic 80s musical that supports the feminist movement by celebrating working women. Starring, Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin, the film follows three women who seek revenge on their sexist and discriminatory boss.
At Friday’s Galley Concert, the cast was present and performed two popular songs from the musical. “9 to 5” and “Around Here” were both originally performed by Dolly Parton. The music and theater department is set to premiere “9 to 5” from Nov. 10 to Nov. 13, at the Strand Theater.
Performing Arts Coordinator Dwayne Butchino had a helping hand in preparing for the concert.
“A lot of the time the students have been preparing for a couple of years,” Butchino said. “This is part of the repertoire for things going forward. Some of our students have been prepping work since freshman year.”
The concert featured solo performances by students Charlotte Stevens, Brynn Walsh, Georgia Becker and Cody Gooley. Alumni Ryan Mahony was a guest pianist.
While Friday Gallery Concerts are typically on a smaller scale than other productions from the department, the audience takeaway is still huge.
“We want the audience to see and appreciate the hard work the music department puts in and showcase the amazing job of the students,” Dwayne said.
Many students were in attendance, getting a chance to see a glimpse of a show they might not be able to attend at the Strand. Some students were attending in hopes of being more involved in the campus community.
“I really enjoyed the show. The talent was unreal and being able to have that breath control is amazing. It’s my last year but I’m making it a mission to go to all the department shows,” senior Kermisha Felix said.
Stevens, a senior majoring in music and music & arts management with a minor in public relations, performed two solos at the concert. It included the German song, “Das Verlassne,” and “Didn’t I See This Movie” from the American musical “Next to Normal.”
Stevens believes the Friday Gallery Concerts are necessary to showcase student talent.
“Showcasing student talent is important because it allows those students to gain performance experience that helps them grow as a musician. It allows them to gain confidence in their own abilities and learn how to perform in different venues which will help them as music professionals in the future,” Stevens said.
Becker, a senior vocalist, was another soloist at last Friday’s gallery concert. Becker performed “Bel piacere” from Agrippina and “Someone to Watch Over Me” from the musical “O’Kay.”
“Students want to share what they have been working on throughout the semester. Other than studio classes [kids who do voice lessons perform for each other] we don’t really have other opportunities to perform so when we have things like gallery concerts it is really fun,” Becker said.
As the fall semester continues, SUNY Plattsburgh’s music department is in the midst of preparing for its upcoming shows. The department will put on “Soulful Christmas” Nov. 19, String Ensemble Nov. 30, Symphonic Band Concert Dec. 2 and Champlain Valley Voices Dec. 4.