Singers Hope to Hit High Note with “Love in the Afternoon” Concert

February is a month known for Groundhog Day, hearts, and, at Marist College, singing.  The Marist Singers are set to perform their annual concert, “Love in the Afternoon,” this month, which will profit the Hudson River Psychiatric Center. 

The President of Marist Singers, Kelly Hall, said that no less than half of the money made off of ticket sales, as well as 100 percent of raffle proceeds, will be donated to the center.  The Hudson River Psychiatric Center, according to the Office of Mental Health Web site for the state of New York, offers inpatient care for 150 people with mental illnesses.  

“Each of these patients have very little extras,” Sarah Williams, the Choral Director at Marist, said.  “Our monetary donations buy them a birthday cake, a present at Christmas, a card for a particularly difficult time, a haircut, etc.” 

“Love in the Afternoon” costs $10 for students and senior citizens and $12 for Marist alumni and employees.  For all others, tickets are $15.  Tickets can be reserved by calling the Music Department at extension 3242, and if they are still available, they can be purchased the day of the concert, said Michael Napolitano, Office Manager of the Music Program.  The concert, according to the Marist College Web site, will be held in the Nelly Goletti Theater on February 13 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

At the concert, the audience will get the opportunity to listen to a variety of songs.

“This year alone, we have songs in different languages, current pop tunes, decade pieces from the ’70s and ’80s, country songs, slow songs, fast songs,” Hall said.  “The repertoire is endless!”

Marist Singers, according to Hall, have around four weeks after winter break to prepare the music for “Love in the Afternoon.”

“With all the snow days and other complications, it’s been interesting this year,” Steph Johnson, a sophomore, said.

Despite little rehearsal time, Williams hopes that the concert will sell out, as each seat sold means additional money for the Hudson River Psychiatric Center.  She keeps in mind the spirit of the event.   

“The greatest energy in the world is love,” Williams said.  “All you have to do is use it and give it away to get some back.”

Hall said what role she thinks love plays in the Marist Singers’ performance.

“Love can mean so many things to so many people,” Hall said, “And through this concert, we hope to bring love to the lives of those at the Hudson River Psychiatric Center.”

Williams said that she believes that music has the power to affect an audience, as well as the people performing it.

“When we write, sing, or play music we are joined into a community all striving toward a creative, positive goal,” Williams said.  “That energy changes the minds and hearts of the performers, and if done right, can make an audience sit up straight and say, ‘Oh, that was beautiful.’  And then, they are changed, too.”

Hall said that it is an inspiration to watch numerous students dedicate their time to singing in order to put on stellar shows for Marist and to benefit important causes.  According to Hall, singers rehearse for three hours a week, with the exception of the week before a concert, where students put in three times this amount of practice.  

“I hope people enjoy the concert,” Johnson said, “And just see all the work we put into it as well as the talent we have in our group with all the soloists.”

“Most importantly,” Hall said, “I hope the love we provide the audience at the concert can be spread to the public as our audience members return home and share stories of a wonderful evening spent at Marist.”

Heart in the snow

Photo Credit to Peter Krefting via flickr

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