With their performance on Feb. 7, “Vocal Effect” has now performed in four different calendar years at Oswego State. The campus-wide show choir that the Assistant Dean of Students, Nate Emmons, created in 2010 has maintained a nucleus of performers through the years. What has continued to change is the quality of the performances, as “Vocal Effect” seems to grow in strength with each new show.
Supported in spirit and attendance by club president Christina Grehlinger, “Vocal Effect Goes Country” was a fun evening of country songs and choreographed numbers. John Mongiello, co-host of the successful WNYO program “Four Guys in a Booth,” hosted the performance, emceeing the show with a polished charm. The show featured 18 performers, each using their differing styles and abilities well.
The show opened with the song “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy” by Big n’ Rich, featuring solo performances by Easton Clark and Aaron Caraco. Clark, a bass, and Caraco, a tenor, blended well together, and the number was a fun way to begin the show. The group then transitioned into ”Stuck Like Glue” by Sugarland, a cute number allowing the members of the show choir to interact with each other. The choir has many different looks and varieties of performers, and their interaction in this song was particularly effective because of the camaraderie amongst the diverse faces.
The first act featured a series of solos and duets. Rachal Karashay’s solo of Taylor Swift’s “Tim McGraw” was a good fit for her voice. The Jason Aldean duet between Clark and Rebecca Gulino was fantastic, as they handled the emotion of “Don’t You Wanna Stay” well. Talia Harrison sang “Joleen” by Dolly Parton along with background harmonies by Lil Wood, which was a solid performance.
Karashay and Amanda Joseph did an amazing job with the Carrie Underwood song “Black Cadillacs.” The two performers used the stage well and had dynamite vocal performances.
Arguably the show’s most well received number was Lawrence Senecal and Quentin Mariano’s performance of Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise.” With Senecal on guitar and Mariano on percussion, they had the entire crowd moving to the live music.
The first act ended with a comical interpretation of Taylor Swift’s “Mean,” which involved every female member of the group singing as loudly as possible. While the performance was going on, a well-designed visual presentation by Keith Amundsen played in the background with pictures of all of their ex-boyfriends – faces blacked out – much to the amusement of the crowd.
The opening of the second act featured one of the strongest performances of the show. Gulino’s take on the Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready to Make Nice” connected well with the audience. She did a tremendous job using her face to help tell the song’s story.
All five male members combined for a cool rendition of Zac Brown Band’s “Knee Deep.” The catchy song was well sung, and the crowd appreciated the opportunity to see all of the guys on stage at one time, often a hit in show choir performances.
Tara Fox delivered one of the strongest performances of her tenure with the show choir, which dates back to the original group in 2010. Fox’s vocal on “Dig Two,” a song by The Band Perry, was very convincing and strong. The presentation of the performance was also quite thoughtful.
A women’s quartet combined for a strong cover of Shania Twain’s “Man I Feel Like a Woman,” featuring strong solo work by Joseph and Gulino. The show’s final number was “Summer Nights” by Rascal Flatts, which did come with a bit of irony due to the incoming snowstorm, but was also active and fun.
Chalk up “Vocal Effect Goes Country” as a win for the group, who continues to put on quality, inexpensive performances for music fans and college students alike.