On Friday, Oct. 13, Eastern presented the Fine Arts Festival, an annual event which features performances from students, faculty and alumni in the arts departments. There were performances in dance, music and theater, showcasing a wide range of talent in the different disciplines. Since the compilation of performances was so varied, the audience members stayed engaged throughout the evening, enjoying every piece as unique as the one before it. The Fine Arts Festival showcased the talent Eastern is cultivating right here on campus within the art community in a series of memorable performances.
One part of the evening especially worth noting was the Music Alumna of the Year Presentation. Dr. Ron Matthews, Executive Director of Music and Fine Arts and Chair of the Music Department at Eastern University, presented the award to Colleen Bradstreet ‘76, who recently retired from the Music Department at Eastern University. In her remarks after receiving the award, Professor Bradstreet warmly accepted the honor and expressed her love for the art community at Eastern. She even turned to the music students behind her on the stage and told them to let her know when their senior recitals would be so that she could come to support them. Even from an outsider’s perspective, it is clear how much love and effort Bradstreet dedicated to Eastern’s community and the Music Department in particular. Her reception of the award was a fitting addition to an evening dedicated to the celebration of art.
The performances of the evening were very memorable. One performance in particular that stood out because of its individuality and beauty was the dance piece choreographed by Hannah Brumbach (’17), and performed by Brumbach, Emilee Carey (’16), and Abbie Worley (’15). Another performance that captivated the audience was Batti, batti o bel Masetto, a piece by Mozart performed by CheyAnne Bigley (’18), soprano, and Elena Lee (’21) on piano. Both Bigley and Lee executed the song beautifully, and the piece specifically showcased the very impressive vocal talent of Bigley. Later in the evening, Bigley also conducted the Eastern University choir in their performance of Hallelujah from Handel’s Messiah.
All of the performances were unique and engaging in their own ways, creating a very enjoyable evening for those who had the privilege of witnessing the creativity and talent of Eastern’s art students, faculty, and alumni. At the end of the Fine Arts Festival, the choir, accompanied by Ron Matthews, Kyle Herman (’07), and Alyssa Heric (’18), and conducted by CheyAnne Bigley, sang Hallelujah from Handel’s Messiah. Audience members were invited to join the choir on stage for the final performance, and the rest of the crowd stood throughout the lively rendition, which is a yearly tradition for the Music Department. The Fine Arts Festival was a great showcase of the variety of talent found on Eastern’s campus and a wonderful evening of celebrating art for all who attended.