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Voices: One Night Only

By Melanie Moffett
In Bayou Scene
May 21st, 2014

A sell-out crowd that spanned the ages packed the Biedenharn Recital Hall at ULM to hear four amazing voices and two virtuoso pianists create aural magic as they performed everyone’s ultimate showtunes to benefit the Strauss Theatre Center. The Strauss had a streak of unfortunate events culminating in a devastatingly damaged roof and the resultant rain damage from a storm in December, but you knew that. But the show must go on, so the Theatre Center’s resourceful board of directors led by can-do prez Bobbette Prince came up with the idea to hold a benefit concert. The all-star vocal  line-up included: Corey Trahan, a former Biedenharn Endowed Chair of Music at ULM who is now on faculty at Mahidol University  in Bangkok; Travis Sherwood, a resounding Baritone who is the Chair of the Classical Voice Department at the College of Music at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand; Claire Vangelisti, ULM’s international superstar and Voice Area Coordinator and Associate Professor; Lisa Lee Phifer, a gorgeous vocalist who is no stranger to northeast Louisiana audiences; and Margaret Ann Zentner, Monroe’s wunderkind who at the tender age of 16 made her Carnegie Hall solo debut in February 2013. Tinkling the twin Fazioli ivories and accompanying the Voices were masterful pianists, Rick Seiler and Julian Jones.

The Voices performed a setlist from Broadway’s best like Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, The Music Man, Wicked and so much more. “You’ll Never Walk Alone” was performed by Vangelisti and was dedicated to a Bobbette Prince from her prince, George. Steve Mintz had his special request “Til There Was You” from The Music Man performed by Zentner. Jimmy Beach and Martha Ryan were honored by Kevin Caston and Anthony Perkins with an unforgettable duet “For Good” from Wicked sung by Margaret Ann Zentner and Corey Trahan.

After the performance patrons were invited back to view the newly-completed renovations at the Strauss Theatre Center and for champagne toasts. Sage catered the after-party and the Strauss lobby was in top form with decorations coordinated by designer Gregory Hudgins.