Talented performers take over SJU

Elijah Angulo, Staff Writer

Over 100 students gathered in the D’Angelo Center two weeks ago as St John’s very own showcased their talents in the Performing Arts Concert.

The collaborative show featured acts including the Chappell Players Theatre Group, Mixed Chorus, St. John’s Jazz Band and Voices of Victory Gospel Choir.

The concert wasn’t a routine talent show, as vocals, saxophones and guitar solos left students and faculty speechless.

The concert was held in the Sodano Coffee House and began at 8 p.m. as the Jazz Band took the stage. They performed three songs, similar to the other groups.

One of these was a cover of “Fantasy” by the notorious band Earth, Wind and Fire. The band cultivated a feeling of balance between smooth flowing melodies and an upbeat energy that you could feel in your feet through the entire third floor of DAC.

But it wasn’t just the instruments that carried that powerful sound, as the Voices of Victory Gospel Choir stole the show. Also accompanied by saxophone instrumentals, the choir performed hits such as Vashawn Mitchell’s “His Blood Still Works” and “High Places.” The music was intended to be heard with ears and spirit, and most students gave the impression that the choir accomplished such.

The Mixed Chorus did the same, but with a twist.

The chorus carried an opera-like composure, singing popular hits including “Seasons of Love” from the musical “RENT” and “Jordan’s Angels” by Rollo Dilworth.

The Chappell Players Theater Group, known for their work in the Little Theater, previewed their upcoming musical “Godspell,” which ended last week.

Students also recommended others attend the play and future performances by all groups.

“Anything that Voices does, tell people to go to,” senior Tahjia Gaskins said. “People need to come to Java Johnnies!” Java Johnnies is a series of performances in the Sodano Coffee house on the last Friday of each month in which students get to watch and enjoy free coffee, doughnuts, and board games.

The Psychology major has experience herself in the arts as she has worked with the Chappell Players and Voices of Victory.

Unfortunately, she was temporarily held back by a torn ACL, but doesn’t let it stop her from enjoying performances.

Accompanying her was junior Antonia Vina, who also urged students to enjoy the performing arts.

“Anything that Remy does you should go see,” she agrees, referring to Remy Anton Martin, a member of Voices.

In addition to the experienced talent, the show was star-studded. Voices of Victory is under the direction of award winning composer Nigel W. Gretton. He has worked with Voices for 29 years. Gretton announced many upcoming events, including “Godspell” and multiple holiday performances around Christmas time.

“Voices will be touring in Spain,” he said. “We will be doing five shows in five cities.”

The Mixed Chorus is directed by award winning conductor Kim Oler.