Slideshow: Student Vocalists Draw Ovation at 2017 Singers Showcase

By 
Salim ALi
December 21, 2017
Background singers open the annual Singers Showcase at Berklee
Anthony "Anthem" Brown singing some 2000's throwback neo-soul
Vocalist Alexis Berry
Student vocalist Rachel Gonzalez
Student vocalist Piao Huang sings.
Kyana Fanene controls a Ken Zambello arrangment.
Vocalist Anna Christensen lights up the stage.
Student Arantza Vazquez belts out her strong vocals.
Da'Dreion Murrell reaches out to touch the hearts and minds of the audience.
Ken Zambello and Rob Rose, Singers Showcase producers
“We hope you enjoy the show!” sing background vocalists at Berklee’s annual Singers Showcase performance, kicking things off with the eclectic vocals of the Beatles’ classic “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”
Anthony Brown of Fayetteville, North Carolina, channels his neo-soul roots on a rendition of Musiq Soulchild’s “Just Friends (Sunny)” by C. Haggins/B. Hebb/T. Johnson (arranged for this performance by David Alexis, assistant professor of harmony).
Vocal powerhouse Alexis Berry of Dallas, Texas, delivers a potent performance of Whitney Houston’s “One Moment in Time,” written by A. Hammond/J.Bettis and arranged for this performance by Jetro Da Silva, professor of harmony.
Rachel Gonzalez of Los Angeles, California, pours her soul into Eric Clapton’s “Change the World,” written by T. Sims/G. Kennedy/W. Kirkpatrick and arranged for this performance by student Isaiah Carter.
Piao Huang of Markham, Canada, digs in and delivers her set with gusto, covering Ariana Grande’s “Jason’s Song (Gave It Away),” written by A. Grande/J.R. Brown and arranged for this performance by Keyhan Kamelian B.M. ‘17.
Kyana Fanene of Oakland, California, displays a tender connection to each song, vocalizing an attitude of sentimentality on “For Forever” from the musical Dear Evan Hansen. For his work on the musical, Berklee alumnus Alex Lacamoire B.M. ‘95 won his third Tony Award for Best Orchestrations this year.
Anna Christensen of Middlefart, Denmark, dances through her set of love songs, including the much-covered Candi Staton song “You Got the Love,” written by A. Stephens/A.M. Harris/J. Bellamy and arranged for this performance by Winston Maccow, associate professor of ensembles.
Arantza Vázquez of Mexico City, Mexico, blows the audience away with vocal stunts, belting on par with the artists she covered, Michael Jackson (“Earth Song”) and Chaka Khan (“I’m Every Woman”). The latter was written by Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, who was awarded an honorary doctorate of music from Berklee in 2014.
After his rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Do I Do,” Da’Dreion Murrell of Omaha, Nebraska, said, “We are living in a day and time where change seems to be unjust. So many of us are so focused on ourselves that we have forgotten the power of unity—togetherness. Change will be inevitable…I still believe in the power of unity…I still believe we can stand together as one...”
Ken Zambello (left) and Rob Rose (right) celebrate their final show with the Yo Team, with Rose offering fond memories of producing the Singers Showcase concert over the past 34 years.
Image by Dave Green
Image by Dave Green
Image by Dave Green
Image by Dave Green
Image by Dave Green
Image by Dave Green
Image by Dave Green
Image by Dave Green
Image by Dave Green
Image by Dave Green

On November 30, students came together for Berklee’s premier vocal event, the 34th annual Singers Showcase. More than 100 vocalists audition each year for the chance to earn a spot on the stage, and the top eight singers perform. Curated by the Yo Team, the showcase offers a variety of styles and musical settings for some of the college’s exceptional singers. While the inaugural showcase honored Quincy Jones ’51 ‘83H, this year’s concert paid homage to the Beatles for the 50th anniversary of the release of the iconic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

The vocal cords of several Berklee students shined on classic songs such as “She’s Leaving Home” (performed by student vocalist Da’Dreion Murrell) and “A Day in the Life” (performed by student vocalists Arantza Vazquez and Anna Christensen), among others. The show concluded with roaring applause and a standing ovation. It was also a bittersweet moment in that the founders of the Singers Showcase, Rob Rose and Ken Zambello, celebrated their final collaboration on the show after 34 years of hard work that has delighted audiences in the Berklee Performance Center.