Three Senior Shows, All in One Night

By DaEun Jung '21

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Friday night was a blast. There were five different senior shows happening. Each senior show was 30 minutes, but the short time frame didn’t limit any of the amazing performances. The shows took place in a variety of places: the fireplace room in the Dean Carriage Barn, Downcaf, the Pit and even Petrie Terrace. Yet these places never looked like the usual places. They were transformed with dim lighting, colorful lights and festive decorations such as pillows and picturesque plants that enhanced the atmosphere.

But of course, the best part were the performances themselves. I had the privilege of attending three of the senior shows, created by Jonah Daniell, Jack Labbe and Isabel Twanmo. Jonah’s performance was characterized as “grooves to untie the bowtie,” where he performed with his band many songs that were composed over the course of his 4 years at Bennington. Many of the songs were love songs, but songs with jazz, rock, folk and classical music influences were evident as well.

Jack performed country rock songs with his band, Rodeo Doctor, while including interesting touches of his own, starting from his very entrance to the stage wearing a red dress shirt with denim jeans and cowboy boots singing in acapella, as well as dancing while playing the harmonica.

Last but not least, Isabel’s performance was very heartwarming and she described her music as “modern melodic pensivities.”  She started off with a cello duet and moved on to playing songs with her band, which included a bass, guitar, drums, flute, and saxophone.

The three performances were very different, but one thing that they all had in common was that the seniors expressed that these shows represented how far they’ve come as  Bennington students and as mature individuals. Jonah in his senior show mentioned how much influence jazz, rock, folk and classical music had on writing the songs for his senior show, and he categorized them as being “inherently American music genres.” He said he came to the realization of how much American culture, especially in the world of music, has been “misappropriated” and now he “acknowledges the various cultural and artistic backgrounds he draws from.” Jack also talked about how much his senior show has changed ever since he began thinking about it his freshman year, stating that it may have turned out to be a string quintet or a karaoke. But then, he expressed his satisfaction towards how well his senior show actually turned out. Isabel’s last song, which she and her band performed, was one of the first songs that she ever composed at Bennington. Seeing her perform various genres of music and even play two different instruments, the cello and the piano, suggested that Isabel was able to develop into a well-rounded Bennington music student.

It was great to see the Bennington community coming together to appreciate what these seniors achieved by enjoying their music and, most importantly, having fun.

The dedication and hard work were evident in all of these performances, recognized by the audience’s loud whistling and swarm of applause . It was also nice to see not just the seniors getting praised, but giving credit to all of the professors and fellow students that made the event happen.

Friday night became all the better because of these mind-blowing senior shows.