Tunes with a Twist
The University Singers’ first ever Gender Bender Cabaret on Saturday Feb. 8 was a success. As a philanthropy project, the Singers teamed up with Ball State University Dance Marathon to raise money for Riley Children’s Hospital.
AJ Lorenzini was one of 11 performers. He sang “Let It Go” from Disney’s “Frozen” and also partnered in a duet with David Bobay singing Rent’s “Take Me or Leave Me.”
“It’s people in the group singing songs that they normally wouldn’t be able to sing,” he said. Lorenzini says that the Gender Bender is “the opportunity” for the singers to do a song that they really “like to sing in the car,” but wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to perform.
With about 40 people in attendance, the small room was bursting with cheers and applause throughout the night.
In the audience was former University Singer Jan Richards. Fifty years ago, Richards was a member of the first Ball State University Singers, and she is still involved with them today. Richards attended Dance Marathon with the Singers last year, and plans to do the same this year. Richards said she most enjoyed Lorenzini’s “Let It Go” performance at Saturday’s concert.
After an introduction from Philanthropy chair Jessica Gannon, the Gender Bender was underway. The first act was Bobay and Lorenzini performing their rendition of “Take Me or Leave Me” from Broadway’s “Rent”.
Taking the stage after the duo was junior journalism major Paris Buslon with an alto-esque spin on James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s World.” Junior telecommunications and journalism double major Sam Faletic followed Buslon with her bar-stool medley of Bruno Mars’ “Young Girls.”
Switching back to a male singer, Levi Smith took the stage to sing “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield. Before the next act, Jordan Phelps brought out the donation bucket for the Miracle Minute.
Exciting the audience with a line of ladies marching on stage, Katie Reynolds led fellow singers Karson Quarles, Felatic, Gannon and Kirsti Emery to perform “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Disney’s “Mulan.”
Grad student Jordan Phelps took the stage again and sang “Gimme Gimme” from “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” Another Bruno Mars song followed Phelps with senior elementary and special education major Emery singing Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man.”
Senior education major David Bobay, performed his version of “My Man” by Fannie Brice. Fellow male Singer and senior marketing major Alex McDowell, lightened the mood with “For the First Time in Forever” from Disney’s new movie “Frozen.”
Senior theater education major Lorenzini briefly joined Newsome in his “Frozen” rendition in order to set up his own performance of “Let It Go” from the same movie. Complete with prop snowflakes and hand movements, Lorenzini ended the Gender Bender with audiences laughing and cheering.
Between sets, members spoke out about donating to Dance Marathon and shared stories about their personal reasons for supporting the cause. Donations were accepted at the door and
during the “Miracle Minute” when Dance Marathon representative Phelps passed around the donation bucket for the audience to donate if they wanted to. By the end of the night, the Singers had raised $163.86 for Dance Marathon.