Campus News

Fall’s Mysteries

On Oct.11, the School of Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with the Department of Language Studies and The Arts, put on their second event in the New Moon Concert series titled “Fall Into Song: The Music of Mystery” in the Black Box theater.

The event, hosted by Jennifer Orendorf, the Administrator of Events and Special Programs in the School of Arts and Sciences, followed a theme of mystery and featured performances of musical arrangements from several movies and musicals, such as “Phantom of the Opera” and “Lord of the Rings.” This recital featured performances by students and faculty, collectively ranging from voice to brass instruments.

The opening performance was “Hedwig’s Theme” from the soundtrack to “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” performed by Mario Sanchez on piano. His piece set the tone for the performances from the Saint Leo Singers and Just the FACTS that followed. Both of the choirs, along with the Chamber Singers, are directed by Dr. Cynthia Selph, Assistant Professor of Music and Music Ministry at Saint Leo University.

Several performances featured accompaniments on piano by Inna Korotkevitch, a staff accompanist and piano instructor, and percussions by guest Debra Sailer, who is a member of the Dade City Symphony and also the Saint Leo Rhythm Machine.

The Saint Leo Singers performed several pieces in tune with the theme of mystery, including a Nigerian Folk song titled “Mojuba” arranged by Brian Tate. The performance began with a short solo by Maurqise McGill, a sophomore middle school education student. McGill

commented on the importance of events of this stature in the Saint Leo community especially the students.

“I feel that events like this are important because they help to support the art and it shows the talent of our university and how well rounded we are. It’s more important for the people because it is a way to showcase their talent and share their love for art and music” said McGill.

The Saint Leo Rhythm Machine, formerly known as the Jazz Ensemble and directed by Mauricio J. Rodriguez, consists of several instrumentalists on electric guitar, both alto and tenor saxophones, trombone, trumpet, and drums. The Rhythm Machine accompanied a majority of the performances and played instrumental pieces of popular songs, such as the “Pink Panther” theme written by Henry Mancini and the theme of the show “Killer Joe” written by Benny Golso.

Saint Leo Strings performed two pieces from the “Phantom of the Opera,” which were both generously applauded by the audience. Kasia Dolinska is a violinist and violin instructor, as well as the director of Saint Leo Strings. A member of the string ensemble, Chynna-Rose Foulkes, a sophomore accounting student, commented on the importance of the music program and events such as these at Saint Leo.

“Personally, it embraces the person who I am and allows me to express myself, and that is really important. Music is life.” Foulkes said.

The Saint Leo Singers also performed the popular song “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, accompanied by the Saint Leo Rhythm machine, which closed the show.

The New Moon Concert series allows students, faculty, and the Saint Leo community at large to experience quality music and art in all its forms for free on the university campus. The series will continue throughout this academic year.

The next showcase will be the Christmas concert in late November. Updates and newsletters featuring information about upcoming events and concerts may be received by contacting Jennifer Orendorf via email at

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