The University of Indianapolis presented “Evening of Song” on April 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center. Staff accompanist Haruka Ostajić accompanied the concert and Professor of Music Kathleen Hacker directed the performance. The performance included arrangements by African American Heritage and African American composers.
The concert included 13 UIndy students who performed solo arrangements from composers Harold T. Burleigh, Robert Owens, Margaret Bonds, William Grant Still, Leslie Adams, Mark Fax and Moses Hogan.
The concert began with arrangements composed by Harold T. Burleigh. Sophomore music major Meghan Farris started the performance by singing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” followed by freshman music major Hunter Wells singing “By ’n By.” Freshman music education major Rachel Harden sang “Give Me Jesus.” Freshman communication major Morgan Ellis performed “Sometimes I Feel like a Motherless Child” and freshman business administration major Amanda Huffman completed the first set of five solos with “There is a Balm in Gilead.”
The next set of five performances were arrangements from multiple composers. Freshman vocal performance major Brenden Everett began the second set by performing “Heart,” composed by Robert Owen. Junior music technology, recording and communication major Sarah Smith followed with “Minstrel Man,” composed by Margaret Bonds. Sophomore music education major Tara Bradley performed “Grief,” by William Grant Still. Then sophomore music education major Ivy Bott sang “For You There Is No Song” composed by Leslie Adams. Senior performance major Shannon Christie completed the second set of performances with “Cassandra’s Lullaby,” by Mark Fax.
The last set of performances were arrangements composed by Moses Hogan. Junior music education major Katie Gajewski sang “He Never Said a Mumblin’ Word,” followed by junior music education major Natalie Covert who performed “Were You There.” Junior general education music major Ron Dukes completed the third set of performances with “Deep River.”
Huffman, who performed in the first set, said she thought the concert went well.
“I really enjoyed being a part of the performance,” Huffman said. “Everyone did great. I especially enjoyed the theme of the concert. Usually when you take a bunch of solo performers with no theme, it [the concert] doesn’t fit together. For our concert, we all had the same theme, so we all fit perfectly together,” Huffman said.
To prepare for the performance, Huffman said that she had to find both time to practice and people to help her.
“For a non-music major, finding the time to practice can be hard. But I have several friends who play piano who help me practice,” Huffman said. “You should practice at least a couple hours a day, along with voice lessons with your voice coach. Even though I switched my major, I will always incorporate music in my life in some way.”
Audience member and freshman pre-physical therapy major Shelby Gyurky reflected over the performance with enthusiasm.
“We are definitely not in high school anymore,” she said. “Many of the girls had fantastic facial expressions and their performance was a big step up than what I have seen. I look forward to seeing their other performances.”