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Fall Fine Arts Festival impresses crowd

The audience sat eagerly anticipating the performance. All fidgeting and soft talking disappeared as soon as the performers came onstage. Singers, dancers, piano players and actors took the stage in turn toentertain the audience who came to Eastern’s Fine Arts Festival.

Alumni, faculty and current students created a program of diverse entertainment. The evening began with three musical performances. The first one incorporated the talents of music professor David Bryant, who played a concerto, with trumpet player Bryan Edgett. Next up was ’06 alumna soprano Jessi Ruhf accompanied by senior Kevin Padworski on piano and ’06 alumni Liesel Schuchart on clarinet. The audience loved the third performance, a beautiful self-arranged piano piece entitled “Immanuel’s Veins,” by Jason Collier.

Next, a group of alumnae dancers, dressed in black, danced to a piece by Jars of Clay called, “Even Angels Cry.” The dance was choreographed by ’07 alumna Kara Schmidt. This was followed by a performance of Eastern’s current student dancers, dressed in white, doing a modern piece. Both dances were enchanting and were greeted with warm applause by the audience.

The conclusion of the first part of the evening was a piece played and arranged by David Bryant, which incorporated the musically diverse styles of four artists particularly influential to his musical career. His fingers and hands coaxed melodies out of the piano that were met with wild applause by the audience.

The second part of the Fine Arts Festival included a scene from “The Crucible,” a concerto for soprano saxophone and piano, and three performances from Eastern’s university choir. The audience and former choir members were invited to participate in Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.” Audience member Rachel Fox commented that it was similar to a family reunion, with people of all ages joining in the familiar song.

Audience members enjoyed seeing an eclectic mix of performances from a diverse group of performers.

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