By Samantha Hopkins
Last Friday Krinovitz Recital Hall was filled with members of the public who gathered for the SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Music’s Spring Fling performance, hosted and accompanied by Department Chair Karen Becker.
With everyone in high spirits from the sunny weather that was starting off the weekend, Becker introduced the concert and performers with high praise. Becker said the concert was a way of highlighting the talented students in the department at the end of the year, being a short and intimate celebration of their hard work and talent throughout the school year.
The program began with Brynn Walsh, who performed a rendition of “Bewitched” from the 1940 Rodgers & Hart musical, “Pal Joey.” Walsh sang while Becker accompanied on piano.
Mezzo-soprano Walsh delivered a delightful performance that opened up the concert nicely. Singing about a woman consumed by love and romance, Walsh performed with a light and airy tone that was a perfect match for the song. Though she stumbled through a few parts of the piece, she quickly recovered without losing her composure and kept a serene expression throughout, perfectly in line with the song’s theme.
After Walsh left the stage, she was followed by soprano Olivia Sorrell who sang “It Might As Well Be Spring” from “State Fair,” a Rodgers & Hammerstein musical. A song about being so happy that it feels like springtime, it certainly felt fitting accompanied by the warm weather of the afternoon. Sorrell’s performance was captivating and her confident energy was felt throughout the room.
Next up was soprano Mirren Guzzio with “A Change in Me” from Alan Menken’s “Beauty and the Beast.” Guzzio’s performance felt most reminiscent of traditional Broadway stage acting, which was warranted for the ballad. Her every expression was subtly changed to match the atmosphere of the song, and her soft vibrato filled the room pleasantly. Guzzio was composed and had an impressive stage presence.
Charlotte Stevens took the stage next, with two pieces set for her to perform. The first piece was “Zueignung” by Richard Strauss. Stevens performed the piece with an operatic tone and a passionate manner. Though the song was in German, Stevens was able to portray the overall feeling of the piece remarkably well. She stayed on stage after the song was done, and quickly began her next performance, “Pulled” from Andrew Lippa’s “The Addams Family.”
The different genres of the two songs were unexpected, but Stevens quickly commanded the audience’s attention with her next performance. Throughout the song, she had an ability to have fun with the comical nature of the piece, and the audience laughed along with the more lighthearted aspects of her acting and mannerisms. Stevens showcased her vocal range effortlessly through the high notes of the song, which she was able to hold impressively.
The final performance of the afternoon was given by Benjamin Cepulo. His was the last one due to the fact that it was the only non-vocal performance. Cepulo’s performance was his own arrangement on the tuba of “Danny Boy” by Fred E. Weatherly. As the song was originally written as an Irish ballad, a tuba rendition of the song might feel odd or out of place, but Cepulo swayed the audience when he started playing.
Though his rendition was in a lower range, it made the end of the performance more satisfying when the lasting high note pulled the piece together. His playing, accompanied by Becker’s piano, allowed for a tasteful performance and an appropriate way to end the concert.
The concert was relatively informal, and with only five students performing it was over within a half hour. This more casual nature allowed the event to feel like an intimate and welcoming celebration of friends and colleagues. It was an afternoon filled with talented and passionate performances.