Last Friday the Bantivoglio Honors Concentration at Rowan University hosted its first “Honors Cabaret” at Boyd Hall in Wilson Hall, featuring the various talents of students in the Honors Concentration.

The event was co-created and run by Harrison Hawkins and Erica Avery, a junior chemical engineering major and a senior biochemistry major, respectively. Both are co-Special Events Coordinators in the Honors Concentration.

The cabaret was a show that featured a variety of acts, including multiple musical performances, spoken word poetry and a monologue.

Shannon Bradley, a sophomore music education major, performed an original song titled “Wait Another Day” on piano, having fellow Honors student and friend, Anisa Adkins, a junior music education major, sing the lyrics.

“I’m used to doing music-related things, but to do those things with people who are in a different group of my life, like with all the honors people as opposed to the music people, seemed like a really interesting opportunity,” Bradley said. “My favorite part is this is something I will do and can do by myself. I can sit in my apartment and make music all I want, but to go and bring it to other people and see what they think and see how it makes them feel really brings something very personal out into the world.”

The ultimate purpose of the event was to bring the opportunity of performing to the Honors students, something that hasn’t been available to them in the past.

“My favorite part about putting on this event is that I was able to be on stage again performing,” said Andy Kapetanakis, a freshman biomedical engineering major and musical director of the cabaret. “I haven’t been on stage since last May when I was in ‘Footloose,’ so it was fun going back to my performing days, and hopefully I can continue performing on stage.”

The first step in presenting this opportunity was the creation of the Honors Jazz Band, started by Hawkins, and Honors a cappella group “The BantivogliTones,” started by Avery and her roommate. Both groups, which are two of only a few music groups not affiliated with the music department, were featured in several musical numbers throughout the night.

The cabaret, unlike other Honors events, was open to the public rather than just the students in the Honors Concentration. As a result, students throughout the university as well as parents of the performers attended.

“I thought [the performances] were really well done and really well prepared,” said Catherine Brown, a sophomore English education major. “It excited me how many people had a passion for musical theater because that’s such a great thing to be into.”

The Honors Concentration, which seeks to expose its students to an assortment of ideas and subjects, continued this practice through the range of acts performed in the show. 

“I liked how it wasn’t just singing,” said Hanna Dietrich, a biomedical engineering major. “I like how they included the poetry, monologue and dance. I thought everyone did a great job.”

Many students enjoyed seeing their peers share their craft and learning new things about the people they normally only see in class.

“My favorite part of the show was seeing all the talented people we have in the honors program,” said Moira Cunningham, a freshman English education major. “[The performances] were great. They were diverse and powerful and I loved them.”

In addition to allowing the students to show off their skills, the cabaret informed other Honors students just how many opportunities there are to be involved in performance within the Honors Concentration.

“I thought it was a really good opportunity to show honors kids what kind of musical activities and interests there are in honors because a year ago we didn’t have any musical groups,” Hawkins said. “[The cabaret] really captured the spirit of honors: creating something and then sharing it with other people.”

– Featured image: The Honors Jazz  Band prepares for the firs ever Honors Cabaret on April 1. The Cabaret showcased a variety of student muscians and othe student performance art.  –Assistant Photo Editor/Amanda Palma

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