The Baruch Blue Notes, Baruch College’s a cappella group, held its “Spring 2017 Showcase” on May 9 in the Engelman Recital Hall beneath the Newman Vertical Campus. The event exhibited one of the college’s premiere performing arts organizations in three acts of vocal performance.
The showcase opened with a rendition of Bastille’s “Pompeii,” signaling the beginning of the first act.
Songs from the act included “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli and “L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole.
The first act closed with Shai’s “If I Ever Fall in Love” before leading into the second act, consisting of solos and performances by small groups of vocalists and instrumentalists including a Korean-language duet by two exchange students from Korea and Hong Kong.
The second act featured performances of songs ranging from “Drops of Jupiter” by Train to a solo performance of the aria “O mio babbino caro” from Giacomo Puccini’s opera Gianni Schicchi performed by the group’s musical director, Laina Tzanides.
The third act saw the entire group return to the stage for another set of a cappella performances, including “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen and “Cheerleader” by Omi. The show closed with the third act to a rendition of “Take on Me” by a-ha.
The conclusion was met with a standing ovation as flowers were presented to the graduating Baruch Blue Notes members through brief speeches.
The Engelman Recital Hall, seating 175 in the acoustically-sound chamber, provided an extremely intimate venue for the group to perform. Some performances were done unamplified, including Tzanides’ aria during the show’s second act.
“The biggest challenge sometimes is trying to get people to understand why we do what we do,” said Tzanides in a pre-performance interview. “We’ve had so much support from faculty and students because we’re an organization that one would not expect to see at a school like Baruch.”
When asked about her role in leading a performing arts group at Baruch, she took immense pride in her club and its aspirations.
“There’s so much pressure that exists within this kind of environment and so our goal is to alleviate that pressure and make the college experience that much more enjoyable,” Tzanides said.
The Baruch Blue Notes plays a critical role in Baruch’s already strong yet still growing arts community by providing an opportunity for young and talented vocalists to develop as performers and exhibit their talents to the Baruch community.
“Our mission,” Tzanides stated, “is to bring Baruch College and the students and faculty a musical experience that they otherwise wouldn’t have had. There’s definitely a unique, rare quality that we bring to Baruch.”
The event was cosponsored by a number of clubs including NYMIA The Music Industry Club of Baruch and the Baruch Thespian Club, two other organizations offering networking and performance opportunities for creative Baruch students.
Despite the fact that three members will be graduating come the end of this semester, including one of the group’s founders, the Baruch Blue Notes will continue to bring its music to the Baruch community and beyond. More information about the Baruch Blue Notes as well as details for booking performances can be found on its website at www.baruchbluenotes.com.