Â This past Saturday, Roanoke College put on the Family Weekend Musical Extravaganza in Bast Gymnasium. This two hour long concert featured most of the on campus music groups and was a huge success.
Â It was obvious that the audience was excited for this event. The gym filled up quickly with students, family, and people from the community. The performance started off with the Roanotes, Roanoke’s newest a capella group. This co-ed group may be the newest, but they started the night with a bang. The two other a capella groups, Looking for an Echo and Mainstreet, are all male and all female respectively. Each of these groups put on a performance that consisted of not just talented singing, but also good natured jokes that made the audience laugh.
Â Dr. Sandborg directed both the Oriana Singers, an all-female group that was founded in 1999, and the Roanoke College Choir which is the oldest vocal ensemble on campus. The Oriana Singers sang a mix of George Gershwin songs. While not everyone in the audience recognized the composer or the music, many fans of Broadway and music from the 20’s recognized these hits. The Roanoke College Choir sang music from “The King and I” as well as “Phantom of the Opera”. Both performances received a huge applause from the audience.
Â The Roanoke College Jazz ensemble was the only instrumental group that performed Saturday. They performed classic songs, including “Impressions” by John Coltrane. Not to be outdone in the vocal category, they had one of their own, Alejandro Ramos, sing “All That Jazz” with the band playing the instrumental sections. He had a strong voice and the audience was not shy in showing their appreciation with cheering and an enthusiastic round of applause.
Â Overall the show was a great success and the only complaint to be heard was the quality of the seats.
Â “The concert was good but two hours was a bit much on those hard bleachers. An intermission would have been welcome,” said Angela Williams, one of the parents in attendance.
Â If you did not get to catch the show and you would like to see some of these ensembles perform you still have plenty of opportunities. On October 11 at 7:30 p.m. the Roanoke College Wind Ensemble is having a combined concert with the Blacksburg Community Band in Olin Theatre. Then November 25th, the Oriana Singers and Roanoke College Choir are putting on an early Christmas concert entitled “Lessons and Carols of Christmas, XXVIII”. They will be at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Roanoke.