Music Ensembles, Students Hold Final Showcase of Semester

Lindsey M. Foster, Editor

The lobby of Grousbeck had a full house of audience members that came out for an evening of the last music showcase of the semester on March 29.

“I will say I was a little surprised at the turnout, but that was great,” said Jennifer Ayers-Barnard, Program Coordinator of Music. “I was really pleased with that.”

This was the first time the campus’s Jazz Band was featured in a showcase. The band is directed by David Saleeba, Director of Bands.

“I was very pleased that we were able to include the jazz combo in the final music showcase,” Saleeba said. “I think their (the student’s) level of engagement with the music has grown, as has their level of musicianship.”

Jazz Band performed two musical pieces, both with a vibe solo and vocal addition by Ashley Patrick, junior.

“Singing has always been something I’m really good at, however, I’ve been starting to learn more instruments, which is quite a challenge for me,” Patrick said. “This was a new experience for me, and I feel pretty proud of myself.”

This portion of the night ended with Saleeba playing a solo on the flugelhorn horn in honor of Women’s History Month. The piece was “Eclipse” by Marisa Youngs, who is an upcoming female composer based in Rock Hill, SC.

“For centuries, there have been limited opportunities for women composers, and fortunately, that is starting to change,” Saleeba said.

The music department’s Panther Singers were next to perform one song they only started practicing two weeks ago. This song was “Imagine” by John Lennon, accompanied by Ayers on piano.

“They pulled it off really well,” Ayers said. “From what I could tell behind them, it sounded great.”

After the ensembles, students within the music department performed different pieces.

Patrick dedicated two songs she performed to her family members, one for her mother (“Crazy” by Patsy Cline) and one for her passed grandpa (“Love Me Tender” by Elvis Presley).

“My grandpa and my mom were the ones that have always been supportive of my music and were the ones that got me into music,” Patrick said.

Kiersten Jones, senior, also had a solo during the showcase. She performed “Good Enough” by Evanescence.

“I was very nervous per usual, but the overwhelming support from both our professors and my friends here at Ferrum always puts my mind at ease,” Jones said. “It takes a lot to get up there and perform, but the never-ending support always makes it worth it every time.”

To see more of the music ensembles, Julio Salazar will perform his senior recital on April 16 in Vaughn Chapel, the Music Department’s Spring Concert will be on April 25 in the Sale Theatre, and the Panther Singers will have their concert on April 26 in Vaughn Chapel.