Solo night strikes a chord

This past Friday, Feb. 7, the choir program had their second solo night of the year. Held in the Panther PAC, the 18 groups sung their hearts out on the big stage for their friends and family.

A long-time member of choir, Kyla Kowalewski, senior, performed twice in one night, singing a solo and in a triplet. “I chose to sing ‘You’ll Be Back’ from Hamilton,” Kowalewski said. “While it wasn’t the most challenging, it allowed me to portray a fun and engaging character, sing in a theatrical manner, and just perform a piece I already knew and loved for my senior year.”

Solo night has held a soft spot in Kowalewski’s heart after her years in choir. This year, her aspirations were just to have fun. “Performing at these nights allows me to sing those styles of songs that we may not normally get to. It really was just a chance for me to have fun and do something I love for others and share my voice,” Kowalewski said.

Post-performance, Kowalewski was over the moon. “I was really proud of how I portrayed my character, both through costume, action, and voice. I was relieved for sure that my voice didn’t crack, but I had a lot of fun and I thought that my solo went pretty well,” said Kowalewski.

For another long time choir member, Ricky Perez, senior, this was his very first solo night. “On stage in those first few moments, I was terrified beyond belief because I thought I would do horribly since it was my first ever solo performance,” Perez said.

Despite being a member of Chamber, Concert, Mens, and Barbershop Choir, Perez has been working on conquering his fear of solo performance. “What inspired me to do it was me, my goal, and those around me. I often wanted to do a solo but what kept me from doing one was my nervousness,” Perez said. “I was able to push past it though and perform at solo night.”

One of the last people before intermission, Perez’s performance was memorable. “The best part was honestly after my solo; I got a lot of compliments from everyone I knew. It was amazing to hear that people thought my voice was great,” Perez said. 

For him, the performance was a clear milestone. “I felt relieved afterwards, and proud,” Perez said. “I was finally able to do something I’ve been telling myself to do for years.”

Concert Choir member Joah Ditto, sophomore, is a seasoned solo night performer. Playing “Stitches” on guitar for another act and singing “Santa Fe” from the Broadway show, Newsies, Ditto was a hit.

“I felt like I was able to perform however I wanted; I usually tend to let the message of the song drive my performance and act through that,” Ditto said. Giving a heartfelt rendition of the classic, Ditto’s interpretation of the piece was well-received.

“I felt really good and it’s always fun doing those solo nights,” said Ditto. “I would say that the best part would be watching my friends perform their solos and showcasing their voices and styles.”

A positive experience for all of those involved, this year’s spring solo night was one to remember. “We really were just having a fun time together,” Kowalewski said.

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