Jazz and art at The Butler

Musical theater students performed jazz songs in The Butler Institute of American Art. Photo by Jessica Stamp / The Jambar

By Jessica Stamp

Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music musical theater students performed at the Butler Institute of American Art for Music at Noon. 

The musical theater group performed on the first floor in the stage room where seats filled the room for those who wanted to sit and listen to the music and view the art pieces. The group performed various jazz songs. 

Joe Carucci, director of Dana School of Music, described Music at Noon as a “collaboration between the Dana School of Music and the Butler Institute of American Art.”

“[Music at Noon are] weekly concerts during the semester in the fall and spring at 12:15 on Wednesday afternoons,” Carucci said. “To the few that we don’t have scheduled but almost every Wednesday afternoon at 12:15 p.m. we provide a concert over at the Butler Institute.”

Carucci said it is an opportunity for YSU students and faculty to perform for the community who would enjoy some afternoon music.  

Chloe Downey, a sophomore musical theater major, chose to sing the song, “If I Were a Bell”, from the musical Guys and Dolls. 

“It’s really fun to sing because this character … she is kind of relaxed and loose because she’s fallen for this guy,” Downey said. “I think it’s really fun to kind of play with these different analogies and stuff she uses like splashing or dressing and like she’s being able to see herself for the first time.”

Downey said she enjoys being able to perform at the museum not only because of the artwork but its ability to bring people together.

“I always love coming here and looking at all the artwork and I think it’s really cool how we can also do, like, musical theater here as well and just bring all these people together,” Downey said.

Lacey Farina, a senior musical theater major, knew she wanted to perform the song, “My Funny Valentine” from the musical “Babes in Arms” when she had a chance to collaborate with Kate Reid, a jazz artist. 

“I actually got the opportunity to work with Kate Reid … and I worked on a song with her and … [heard] the genre of the music at noon and I was like, ‘I got the song’ … and it works,” Farina said. 

Farina said she loves being at the museum and performing there because of its atmosphere and classiness.

Mallory Ehrhart, a sophomore musical theater major, sang the song “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart which was the first song given to her when she came to YSU. 

“I think it’s a really beautiful jazzy piece,” Ehrhart said. “Anytime I get to perform specifically jazz music, I love.”

Elise Vargo, a senior musical theater major, sang “Ashville” from the musical “Brightstar”. 

Vargo said the Music at Noon performance was her first time being inside the museum. 

“It’s so nice,” Vargo said. “And the sound of the acoustics were really good.” 

Music at Noon on Oct. 5 featured members of the Voice Studio who performed solos with a pianist. 

If interested in attending, the free concerts start at 12:15 p.m. every Wednesdays and are open to the public.