'OMG', what great performances by Syracuse singers

Orange Music Group, or OMG, held their Winter Artist Showcase, bringing together talented, diverse Syracuse singers.

Picture the sounds of smooth R&B, up-beat rap, and an acappella rendition of Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" all in one night. 

As Zoya Davis stepped on the stage at Schine Underground, she took full pride in telling the audience that the two singers who performed before her were her very talented friends.

The freshman music industry major took her seat beside the guitarist, inhaled deeply, and sung a cover of Adele’s “Don’t You Remember” in front of an audience of 100 people.

For Davis, this wasn’t just any performance. It was her first time ever performing solo.

Orange Music Group hosted their Winter Artist Showcase recently and besides Davis, Benitez and Thompson, other performances included acts by singers Austin Holmes, Julia Wolfe, ose. (Osamede Ogbeide), Riley Mahan, Williz (Willis Sanders), YS (Roshad Davis), Christian Quiles, and Olivia Klayman. All are students at Syracuse University. 

“I went to a performing arts high school as a vocal major in New York City, but this felt a lot more real, less sheltered. It was unnerving but in the best way,” Davis said. “The anticipation, the butterflies, all of it was exactly how I felt it should be because it makes you feel alive.”

She said she was ready to go up on stage and bare her soul in front of people.

The singers showcased a mix of cover songs and their own original work. Each of them brought upon a different vibe to the crowd.

For some performances, sitting with the intimate crowd in the dimly red-lit room felt like being in a cozy jazz café up an alleyway in New York City. This atmosphere was contrasted with high-energy performances from rap artists that brought the crowd to its feet.

Julia Wolfe, senior music industry major was the first to perform. She started with a cover of “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, continued with an original song called "Default," and finished with a cover of “Beverly Hills” by Weezer.

“Performing for the first time in a while was riveting. I could really feel the crowd’s energy, and it made me remember why I love performing,” Wolfe said.

From a technical standpoint, Jon Kane, senior music industry major and one of the board members at OMG said the event was in the planning stage since last semester when the group submitted the budget requests. The real work was the month leading up to the show he said. The group held auditions, made fliers, and promoted the event, according to Kane. 

“We had a lot of very talented students perform and things seemed to run smoothly,” he said.

Audience member and freshman undecided major, Anthony Hersee, came to support a friend who was putting on the show. He thinks it’s always good to support local student artists.

“The show had good energy," Hersee said. "And the MC definitely kept it lively [between acts]." 

Austin Holmes, junior acting major, was last to perform bringing on a vibrant stage presence and charisma as he started his fifteen-minute set with a short dance to a remix of Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie." The showcase ended on a high with Holmes singing an emotional rendition of “Lay Me Down,” by Sam Smith.

“Seeing the show makes it all worthwhile,” board member Jon Kane said. “We are looking forward to the next one, which will be even bigger, on April 9.”

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