Mambo Italiano

Fanny Burney once said: “Traveling is the ruin of all happiness! There’s no looking at a building after seeing Italy.”

On Mar. 8, The School of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Language Studies and the Arts presented “Canta Italia!” with the theme “The Many Faces of Love.” The concert took place at the Saint Leo Abbey Church at 7 p.m.

“Canta Italia!” was directed and put together by Dr. Selph, Director of Saint Leo Singers and Chamber Singers and Assistant Professor of Music. The concert consisted of many Saint Leo Groups, such as the Saint Leo Singers and Saint Leo Singers International, Saint Leo Chamber Singers, Saint Leo Strings, and pianist Inna Korotkevitch.

The performers presented many amazing songs, including: “Adagio,” “The Lord is My Shepherd,” “Sister, My Sister,” “Like I’m Gonna Lose you,” “Hallelujah,” “What the World Needs Now is Love,” and many more.

Raving reviews from students made it an instant hit. Cameron Wallace, a sophomore biology major, said that he thoroughly enjoyed the rendition of: “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Meghan Trainor/arr. Huff. Wallace also insisted that Jahiedy Vinas and Yohana Fasida, both soloists on the song, made the church come alive. It made him feel like he was at “Meghan Trainor live concert”; in as such, having “a good crowd audience and, more importantly, enjoying it.”

Other complimenting comments came in from a sophomore criminal justice major, Sierre Allen. “The songs were really nice, and they sounded great,” said Allen, who was amazed by how high the Sopranos went and how coordinated the singers blended.

Jahiedy Vinas, a graduating senior English major, was simply enthusiastic about the Italy Trip. Vinas said, “Saint Leo is all over the world, and now we are in Italy.” Vinas also stated that she put all her talent and effort into this concert.

“I am graduating and had two solos, so I gave it my all. I care about Saint Leo University, Saint Leo Singers and Chamber Singers. I also have a have a vocal program background, so it is always a 100% effort,” Vinas added. “I am happy we got it together. The acoustics were great, and all the rehearsals were worth the outcome.”

“The trip to Italy is a great opportunity,” said Stephen Miller, a sophomore religion major and music minor. Miller said that he always puts all his effort into his performance.

“The message that Saint Leo Singers, Saint Leo Chamber Singers, and Saint Leo Singers International was trying to send as groups was love,” said Brigid McLaughlin, a senior education major. McLaughlin, is looking forward to learning more about the culture and singing while in Italy. McLaughlin favorite song she sang was “Festival Sanctus.”

McLaughlin feels that the groups chose Italy to travel to is because “Italy is beautiful and historical.”

N’Dea Sanders, a freshman psychology major, is also a part of Saint Leo Singers with Vinas and McLaughlin. Sanders says that the main purpose of “Canta Italia!” was to send a message to the audience about “the art of music and love.” Sanders is looking forward to the sight-seeing in Italy.

“The trip to Italy is ten days and twenty persons from the group including three faculty members,” said Selph, who is very excited about the upcoming trip. “It is the fulfillment of a long-term vision I’ve had since I came to Saint Leo University.”

Selph couldn’t be prouder of her students. “We want to represent the best of Saint Leo, sharing a message of love and acceptance for all. They gave their very best effort and performed as well as I could have hoped for.”

The audience truly enjoyed the concert and students are ready and willing to attend more musical events like this. Students should be on the look-out for upcoming events, such as “SASSabration” on Apr. 12 in the Shelby Auditorium at 7 p.m. and “Tunes in Bloom!” on Apr. 18 in the Black Box Theatre at 7 p.m.

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