NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Performing Arts Showcase Takes the Stage

The Performing Arts Showcase, including performances from dance, music and theatre programs at NECC, was held on Nov. 13 at 12 p.m. in the Technology Center.

The coordinator of the dance program, Michelle Deane, introduced the dance performances which started off the show. The first dance, choreographed by dance major Nina Cabral, was performed to the song “My Moon My Man” by indie pop singer Fiest.

There were four other girls in this dance dressed in all black, wearing top hats and dancing gracefully across the front of the room to this sassy jazz number.

“I started choreographing the group dance in September, so by the time rehearsals started, I already knew everything I was going to teach. I was really particular about being prepared. I didn’t want to end up close to the show with an unfinished dance. I know as a dancer how stressful that is, so I didn’t want my dancers to go through it… or myself,” said Cabral.

Alisa Bucchiere, a professor on the music faculty at NECC, introduced her students Ambar Marte Vargas, Carli Hamilton and John Francavilla at the Showcase.

All three had been participating in voice lessons with Bucchiere.

When Deane asked if she had any students who would be interested in performing at the Showcase, Bucchiere asked her students and they said yes. When making song selections, she tried to pick pieces that were in contrast with jazz, since the jazz band was also performing.

Carli Hamilton, a Voice and Music Therapy major, sang the song “Watch What Happens” from the musical Newsies, displaying her talent for theatrical singing.

“Carli’s performance was amazing,” said her friend Nicole Diamond, a Deaf Studies major in her sophomore year at NECC.

“It was a last-minute thing for her. She didn’t even have time to warm up and she still pulled it off.”

Other musical performances included Ambar Marte Vargas, who sang “To Make You Feel My Love” by Adele.

“Before performing, I was a little nervous,” said Vargas. “However, I’ve shared this piece with a couple people already. Performing is like my happy place. It’s the moment when I feel like I can truly be myself.”

Vargas is a Music Studies major in her sophomore year. After she finishes at NECC, she plans to help kids who don’t have the resource to pay for a music school, as she experienced that struggle when she was younger.

John Francavilla sang a jazz version of “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess, a 1930s opera written by George Gershwin.

“He kind of sounded like Michael Bublé,” said Diamond, who named Francavilla as one of her favorite performances.

Bucchiere described the performances at the Showcase as “phenomenal.”

“I’m a proud music mama,” she said.

The show wrapped up with songs from the NECC jazz band, including an original song titled “If I Were You” by Sean Lavigne, a music studies major at NECC.

“I originally titled it ‘Where’s the Pizza?,’” said Lavigne, who was performing his original for the first time. “It was really exciting,” he said.

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