Omni Singers perform popular show tunes from the last 2 decades


Audrey Cahak / Hilltop Views

The theme of the night was musicals released in the millenium, some of which include ‘Wicked,’ ‘Newsies,’ American Idiot’ and ‘Seusical.’ Check out performances by the music department at the Festival of Light on Dec. 6.

On the night of Nov. 11, while the weather was giving students the cold shoulder with fierce winds and freezing temperatures, Omni Vocal Jazz performers put on a riveting show inspired by the musicals of this millenia that kept the evening hot.

Under the expertise of director and choreographer Courtney Wissinger Eliand, the choir put together a show featuring group and solo performances of hit musicals of the 21st century, such as “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Newsies” and “Wicked.” The performers were accompanied by the Omni Band, led by keyboard player and director David Blackburn, who added impactful instrumentals to an already vibrant performance. 

Katherine Gualy, a member of the Omni Vocal, was involved in multiple pieces throughout the night, with parts in songs from “Next to Normal” and “Seussical.”She even sang an empowering solo from “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” which Gualy has a special connection to. 

Gualy’s mom and sister worked on the play “Thoroughly Modern Millie” at her high school, sparking his awe in musical theater. “I love the role of Millie. She is fierce, she’s a go-getter, she doesn’t let anybody tell her what to do, she’s a modern woman and is just a full fury spunk ball,” she said.

In her powerful and personal performance, singer Jillian Horton sang “Last Night On Earth” from the show “American Idiot” while playing her guitar without other musical accompaniment. 

“Specifically with ‘Last Night on Earth,’ we were told to do any song that was created past the 2000s, and the first musical I actually ever saw with my mom was ‘American Idiot,’ which came out in 2008,” Horton said. “I’ve never had a sit-down solo like that because I came from a giant school and I’ve never had the opportunity to just sit and interact with an audience with my guitar and just kind of talk to them, so I really grabbed a hold of that and was like, ‘I’m gonna do it’ and then I did it and it went great.” 

With the theme being musicals that debuted after 2000, performers expressed themselves through songs from the most prevalent modern shows based on their personal interests in topics that affect the current generation. 

“Musicals over the years have definitely gotten a lot more funny, and they’ve really started to break the boundaries,” Horton said. “Musicals just really aren’t the same anymore, especially because there are a lot of people out there, like me, who don’t really vibe with traditional musicals. We want something else because we’re in a world where we can be more individual, so we want musicals that feel more individual to identify with.”