Acclaimed Singer Hosts Talent Show
Published: Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Updated: Sunday, February 22, 2009 02:02
Christine Lavin, the multi-talented folk singer, shared the stage with six "on the verge" musicians in a recent competition at Shea Auditorium.
Three of the musicians were handpicked by a panel of judges along with Lavin for the William Paterson University "On the Verge" competition. The six finalists performed at the Student Center Cafe on April 9, where three came out on top.
The winner, Daniel McBride, a William Paterson Alum, was accompanied by the two runners up, WPU freshman Kelly Wood, and adjunct psychology Professor Omar Mendez.
When asked what winning this competition meant to him, McBride responded that he does not make music to compete.
"I wanted to be apart of a great group of people," said McBride who considers his sound to be a mix of David Grey, Damien Rice, Pink Floyd and World Music.
Lavin stated that after hearing Wood and Mendez, she couldn't bring herself to exclude them from the show.
"I love the fact that the age range went from 19 to 56," said Lavin. "Folk music is really inclusive; it never excludes."
Musicians Kevin Ray, WPU Alum Clyde Roberts, and WPU student Amanda Duncan rounded out the show.
Lavin's fun sound added to the eclectic mix of musical talent from each artist. When asked to describe folk music, Lavin stated it was like real life set to music and very spontaneous.
Clad in pajama pants, sneakers and a black top, Lavin was nothing short of animated and entertaining. Her songs were comical, from her "I love Hilary but I voted for Obama" song, to her politically charged song about gun control in the United States.
Lavin, not only showcased her musical talents but also her ability to twirl a mean baton. Set in darkness, Lavin twirled two batons lit at the end by glow sticks during the show.
Lavin also included various audience sing-a-longs, and the hurling of green glow sticks into the crowd before the final performance.
"It was an honor to be part of this group of song writers, that have been around much longer than me," said Wood, who's been playing the guitar since the age of 13.
Mendez, who Lavin described as the Cuban version of "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery", made waves with his song about Mexican immigrants, and his politically incorrect song about "big breasts and balled tires."
Lavin ended the show with a tribute to soldiers in Iraq, stating "Let's get 'em home." The tribute also included all of the artists in the show, singing together "We need peace, let it begin with me."
The show was a great mix of raw talent and old school experience. Lavin's vivacious mix of acting and singing made for a great show.