Musicians Leave it All on the Floor at the Fall Music Showcase

Cherrie Liu’s performance brought back 2000’s punk-chic nostalgia. PHOTO COURTESY OF GAKU SHIROMA

The Lone Mountain Studio Theater hushed in astonishment as Jasper Li produced a song live on a synthesizer at Thursday night’s Fall Music Showcase, presented by the performing arts department. Li started by pressing a couple of buttons that produced simple beats, and it seemed like we were in for a DJ set. But then, he began layering those beats with vocal, orchestral, and percussive soundbytes. The audience gasped and exclaimed as Li strutted away from his synthesizer and towards a grand piano to play over the song that he had just created. 

“This was really different,” Li, a fourth-year performing arts and social justice major (PASJ), said. “That was the loudest clap I ever received.”

Li was not the only performer to leave the crowd speechless. The showcase featured 15 performances from students across the performing arts department and other majors. 

The night began with an eloquent performance of “Sonata a Quattro” by USF’s Chamber Ensemble. The soothing hum of the violin, viola, bassoon, and cello serenaded the audience. Their performance, led by music director Daria D’Andrea, was a smooth start to the evening.

President Father Paul F. Fitzgerald, S.J. sat in the front row. Beaming with excitement he said, “There is something so special about the students of USF.” 

Jasper Li electrified the room with his synthesizer. PHOTO COURTESY OF GAKU SHIROMA

Some performers used the showcase as an opportunity to leap out of their comfort zones. Cherrie Liu, a first-year performing arts and social justice major, debuted her self-composed piece “Ashes” in her first ever live performance. Rocking an electric guitar and a punk-chic look, Liu demanded the audience’s attention. “My professor inspired me to perform tonight, even showcase my song,” she said.

Returning performers came to the stage with fresh content they were excited to share with the crowd. Mikayla Jazmyn, a third-year communications major, flaunted her vocal talents through a debut of their soulful original “Before the Fall.” According to Jazmyn, the song was inspired by “a summer of letting go” of her own fears and negativity. Eliora Brown-Egue accompanied Jazmyn on piano and Liu was on electric bass, adding an element of funk to the performance. 

When Molly Bell, a first-year PASJ major, came on stage, she brought the audience into her world. Basked under a golden spotlight, she played her self-composed song “Jeremy,” on an acoustic guitar that she painted with hearts. Bell said she wants to keep making music after college. “I want to continue editing my music and focus on writing more original songs,” she said.

Left to right, Audrey Walker, Amogh Kaushik, Alex Zeng-Yang, and Gabriel true performing with USF‘s Classical Choral Ensemble. PHOTO COURTESY OF GAKU SHIMORA

To close the evening, the USF Classical Chorus Ensemble came together for an a capella performance of  “Wanting Memories,” sending the crowd home in good spirits.

“There’s something enchanting about listening to people sing as a group. It really captivated me,” said Alston Georges, a first-year PASJ major.

The night left other PASJ students feeling proud of their peers and optimistic about music and performance in their own lives. First-year PASJ major, Iman Moaddeli said, “The show inspired me about the vast possibilities that exist in the sounds and melodies we make. It’s always exciting to see what other people are thinking and how they express themselves.”

Foghorn News Editor Megan Robertson performed in the Fall Music Showcase.

5 thoughts on “Musicians Leave it All on the Floor at the Fall Music Showcase

  1. Excellent writing. Serena. Finney you are well on your way to being a journalist. Amazing writing skills.❤️

  2. Wow! What an amazing event! A big thank you to the author, Serena Finney, I felt I was right there in the audience!

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