The School of Arts and Science hosted “Saint Leo City Limits” on Apr. 12 in the new Black Box Theatre. This concert showcased standard tunes and vocal jazz performed by students, staff, and faculty. The night featured thirteen acts from Just the Facts and the Saint Leo Chamber Singers, both of which were directed by Cynthia Selph, an instructor of music, as well as the Jazz Ensemble and their director Mauricio Rodriguez.
The Jazz Ensemble, a student group, opened the night with a rendition of the upbeat Latin song “Oye Como Va” by Tito Puente. This performance set the stage for an evening of wonderful music. The Jazz Ensemble also performed right after- this time accompanied by the Chamber Singers, another student group. They sang, “Sing, Sing, Sing” by Louis Prima, a piece from the “Swing” era of music. On their own, the Chamber Singers sang “Eleanor Rigby” by Lennon and McCarteney.
Just the Facts, a faculty and staff chorus, entertained the audience with three pieces. First, a crowd favorite by Duke Ellington, “It Don’t Mean a Thing,” and later a more soulful piece, “The Way You Look Tonight” by Jerome Kern. They also closed the show, along with Adam Shoemaker, associate professor of business, and his wife Amy Shoemaker, singing “I’m Beginning to See the Light” by Duke Ellington.
The other seven performances were soloists that were just as good as the groups. The Shoemaker’s were the first of the soloists, performing a passionate song called “La Vie en Rose” by David, Piaf, and LouiGuy. Next, Rosemary Luyex, a student, performed “My Funny Valentine” by Rodgers and Hart.
These soulful jazz pieces continued throughout the evening with William Mondy, adjunct professor of biology, singing “Someone to Watch over Me” by I. and G. Gershwin, Joey Gilbert singing “Fly me to the Moon” by Bart Howard, and Jennifer MacDonald, a student, singing “Trust in Me” by Ager, Schwatrz, and Wever. Lastly, another student, Marquise McGill, changed the tempo a bit with his rendition of “I Got a Woman” by Ray Charles.
The band that accompanied the singers were skillful musicians and did an excellent job at recreating the instrumentals of the songs. The band included Inna Korotkevitch, the staff accompanist, on the piano, Mauricio Rodriguez on bass, the guest artist, Carl Roa on guitar, and Debra Sailer, a student, on percussion.
There was a superb turnout of family, students, and other faculty for the event. Members of the audience were captivated by the displays of vocal and musical talent as they constantly rewarded the performers with applause.
Rebecca Hugh, a freshman marketing major, expresses her satisfaction with the concert by saying, “The performances were superb. I think they were able to really capture my attention and make me feel the music.”
When asked if she had a favorite, she responded, “I enjoyed all the performances, but I really liked ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing’ by the Jazz Ensemble.”
This showcase of Saint Leo’s talent was a great event. The hard work and dedication the students and faculty participating in the ensembles put in was evident in their almost flawless execution of every note, string, and chord.