by The Cowl Editor on December 11, 2021
Arts & Entertainment
Jack Downey ’23
Over the past week, there were many concerts at Providence College as the semester begins to wind down. The first was a performance at 4:00 p.m. on Dec. 3 featuring the PC Orchestra. Helmed by Dr. Sang Woo Kang, the talented musicians captivated the sizable audience with several classical standards such as “Concerto No. 4 in F minor” by Antonio Vivaldi. This song in particular featured absolutely outstanding work by concertmaster Hashim Hassan ’23, though it cannot be understated how well the blend of PC students and local musicians performed throughout the duration of the show.
Later that night, at 7:00 p.m., the PC jazz band, directed by Dr. Eric Melley, took the stage over at ’64 Hall. The band came out at full force with the Sonny Rollins standard “Tenor Madness,” featuring a blazing solo by tenor sax player Tommy “T-Bone” Hebert ’23. As the set progressed, the band took on all different styles of music, the most surprising of which being ’80s pop. Grace Maffucci ’22 joined the group on stage for a couple of songs, the last being “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper. Despite the fact that this song is anything but jazzy, the band’s sparse rendition, accompanied by Maffucci’s standout vocals, made it one of the concert’s highlights.
Saturday saw the long-awaited return of rock band St. Joe and the Dorms. Donning Christmas-themed clothing for this performance, the trio tore the roof off McPhail’s with a mixture of rock classics and holiday staples, including Wham’s “Last Christmas,” Chuck Berry’s “Run Rudolph Run,” and Bruce Springsteen’s take of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Conrad Drezek ’25 held nothing back with his drumming, Griffin May ’24 captivated the audience with his guitar playing and charisma, and yours truly held down the fort on bass and vocals, even if that meant nearly suffering a concussion after flying backwards during one of the more energetic songs. One must face physical injury in the name of rock, after all.
Also on Saturday was Lessons and Carols. Returning after a year of hiatus, PC’s Liturgical Choir and PC’s Chorus joined together and performed classical church hymnals and carols to ring in the season. The combination of music and Gospel readings truly added to the experience. Some highlights included the beginning of the service, with solos by Maffucci and Logan Johnson ’23, as well as cantoring by W. Cole Patno ’24. Another memorable moment came when Dominican Schola joined the combined group to sing a Gregorian chant. Presiding over Lessons and Carols was Father Kenneth Sicard, O.P., President of Providence College.
One would be remiss not to mention the a cappella concerts that occurred this past weekend. The three groups, Strictly Speaking, Anaclastic, and Special Guest, held two shows. The first fell on Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m.; the second, Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Having two shows turned out to be a prudent move, since people absolutely packed Smith Concert Hall to see the groups perform. First on stage was Anaclastic, the all-female group. The audience was left speechless by the beautiful harmonies and powerful solos that radiated from the stage, the natural reverb of the concert hall making the group sound like one three times their size.
After them came Strictly Speaking, the co-ed group. They had the audience raving as they sang their way through multiple fan favorites, including Lorde’s “Bravado,” which was led amazingly by Grace Stewart ’23. The set closed with Bastille’s hit “Pompeii,” with Jack Wilmot ’24 taking lead as the rest of the group dutifully backed him up throughout.
The final of the three to perform was the all-male group, Special Guest. Coming out with gusto, the group grabbed the attention of those in attendance with their clothes, which featured blazers and turtlenecks, as well as their entertaining stage presence. The latter was exemplified by members of the group dancing during some of the songs. One of the highlights was The Bee Gees’ “More Than A Woman,” which featured Dom DaSilva ’24 on lead vocals. Their set concluded with a show-stopping rendition of Silk Sonic’s “Leave The Door Open” with solos by Christian Willett ’24 and Nolan Donato ’22, and on that note, the door closed.
This past weekend was truly an eventful one for music at Providence College, and it was great to see how positive of a reaction each event received. Hopefully, such musical events at Providence College will be met with this appreciation next semester and for years to come.