Casserly Corner: The Importance of Performance
As the cold of February creeps into Minneapolis, Lundstrum can warm your heart at its annual Coffee House Cabaret on February 17th at 7:00 p.m.
Sue Casserly-Kosel, Lundstrum’s Director of Vocal Program, loves the intimate performance opportunity the cabaret offers students. “It’s a casual environment,” Sue explained, “It’s less stressful than a formal recital.” Lundstrum constructs a special lounge set-up for the event, so guests can relax at tables with coffee and cookies, while they enjoy the young artists’ performances.
“Performing in front of an audience brings you to a new level."
The cabaret is more than just a fun night out; it’s also an important part of young singers’ training. The cabaret is an opportunity for Lundstrum Performing Arts’ voice students to try out their skills in a different environment. It allows them growth as performers.
"Performing in front of an audience brings you to a new level,” she explained,” “You learn where you need to work more, because things you can do in the studio, you might not be able to accomplish onstage – yet.” Because of the more intimate setting, cabarets are very different from performing in a large theater or in a musical. Live performance audiences tend to be forgiving, because they’re taking in the entire experience of the song presentation and so much of that is about personality and communication.
"You have to be very flexible; you have to be open to different genres of music; you have to be open to different styles of singing."
Singers are called on frequently to simply sing a song with a hand mic. Sue said, “That’s very different from when you’re performing in a musical.” She sees the cabaret as contributing to Lundstrum’s goal of training well-rounded performers.
Opening yourself up to a variety of performance opportunities is vital to being a great singer. “You have to be very flexible; you have to be open to different genres of music; you have to be open to different styles of singing,” Sue said. The Cabaret is an opportunity for students to study and perform popular song repertoire. “We go to a genre of music people have some familiarity with,” Sue explained. This year’s cabaret is entitled, “Jukebox Saturday Night” with a theme of songs written and popularized in the 1950’s.
Over 25 students will be performing at this year's cabaret; their ages range from 7 to 18. For many students, this will be their first coffee house cabaret; for others it will be their fifth cabaret.
Whatever year it is for them, Sue’s goal remains the same for all her students. “To have an enjoyable experience of performing in front of a warm and friendly audience with live accompaniment is my goal,” she said. She’s excited for all the insight her students will gain from the performance.
Tickets to Lundstrum’s Coffeehouse Cabaret will be available February 5th for $10 at lpacabaret.brownpapertickets.com.
Sue invites you to, “Come, cheer on these brave kids that want to sing for you.” The cabaret always proves to be a charming evening of music and the joy of performing.