On Apr. 20, the School of Arts and Science, in collaboration with the Department of Language Studies and the Arts, put on a production of SASSabration at 7 pm in the Selby Auditorium of the University campus. This event featured performances by the S.A.S.S. (Soprano Alto Second Soprano) group and also special guests, the Slam Poetry club, here at Saint Leo. The event started promptly and the auditorium was completely filled with students, parents, and faculty. The event was hosted enthusiastically by Milynthia Foard, who is a sophomore psychology major at the University.
S.A.S.S. is a group of female acapella singers made up of sopranos, altos, and second sopranos at the University. This event is special for the group as three of their members are seniors and will be graduating on Apr. 29. One of the senior members, Jasmine Collins, who is a psychology major, is the only beatboxer to the group and has been a part of the group for all her four years spent at the University.
Collins spoke enthusiastically about her time in S.A.S.S. and how she felt about the event, “This event especially, it hit home a little bit, it’s my last one… It’s a little bittersweet. “
The night progressed with performances by the S.A.S.S. group and solo performances by members of the group; these performances were received with great commendation by the audience. The Slam Poetry club members, who were special guests to the event, also gave entertaining and eye-opening performances, which set a tone for the night. Foard, who hosted the event, gave a resounding performance of one of her original poems, which shook the audience with its enriching content. Foard is also a member of the Slam Poetry club and has performed at many other University functions.
The Slam Poetry club’s faculty advisor Marissa McLargin, instructor of English, was in attendance and she also performed a poem of her own.
McLargin enthused about the collaboration between the S.A.S.S. singers and the poets of the Slam Poetry club, “Anything that introduces students to the arts, shares art with the community, is a wonderful gift from Saint Leo, to Saint Leo.”
McLargin touched on the importance of art and expression to the Saint Leo community, especially in light of the experiences shared in the personal poems performed by the students at the event.
“The students are able to relate to the performers, because of their age, race, nationality. It puts a more personal touch on the students who are watching,” said McLargin.
Pamela DeCius, director of S.A.S.S., was also in attendance, performed and spoke about the effect of art and expression on the Saint Leo community and the world at large. DeCius also spoke about the importance of having these platforms in the Saint Leo community, as it allows for students to express themselves thoroughly, and for others to share in these expressions. The Slam Poets and singers spoke and sang about difficult topics, which had an immense effect on those in attendance. The themes of self-love, social, and racial issues resonated through all the poems shared at the events.
“People respected each other… They got something out of it. We were sharing, and people forgot all their iPhones, iPad, I-whatever, and it became a ‘we’ and it became an us,” said DeCius.
In light of the themes represented in the poems shared by the performers, DeCius shared that she felt bittersweet about the Slam Poets’ performances,
“In the moment that I am like ‘this is fabulous’, I think to myself, these are young adults and they have seen, felt, heard these things that I was hoping to not have them worry about right now,” said DeCius.