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HalleBOOia concert attracts zombies, cats and bananas

Kaitlyn Lyle / Lantern photographer

Banana percussionists, zombie bassoonists and feline vocalists took the stage at the Weigel Hall auditorium at Ohio State on Friday night.

HalleBOOia, the School of Music’s annual costumed Halloween-themed concert, featured music students in costumes performing spooky and comedic musical acts.

The show featured 13 different acts, some soloists and some ensembles.

Audience members were encouraged to arrive in costume for the show as well. Though some guests got into the spirit, the majority of costumed concertgoers were involved in the show.

Goblins, ghouls and a lot of cats came to celebrate the concert’s 18th anniversary.

Most of the cats were members of the Women’s Glee Club, appropriately dressed to coordinate with their second musical number, a song composed of only one word: meow.

“It’s this funny little duet that’s supposed to be between two cats,” said Jilian McGreen, a fourth-year in music who dressed as an Andy Warhol painting of Marilyn Monroe.

Cat costumes weren’t required, though many of the club members were cats. McGreen was also joined onstage by Buzz Lightyear, a cupcake and a giraffe, among others.

The concert is put on each year solely by the school of music, said Karrie Pierson, who has been coordinating the show for the past five years since she arrived at OSU.

“It’s strictly an in-house deal that we do it on our own… it’s our baby,” said Pierson, who performed with the bassoon ensemble as the bride of Frankenstein.

“I think the best part of the concert is getting to see the actual identities of the people in the groups, because you see them with their Halloween costumes on so you can see sort of their sense of humor and then it adds a personality to the group,” said Amy Van Auker, a fourth-year in speech and hearing science and the president of Women’s Glee Club.

The concert differs slightly from traditional vocal and instrumental concerts not only in attire, but in performance as well.

Many performances had comedic elements combined with the musical numbers.

The OSU Double Bass Ensemble, dressed as characters from the Wizard of Oz, performed a medley of songs from the movie, combined with spoken lines.

The Wicked Witch of the West “melted” after Dorothy doused her with blue tinsel, and the act ended with an audience sing-along to “Somewhere over the Rainbow.”

The Double Bass Ensemble wasn’t the only act with a nod to pop culture.

The OSU Flute Troupe opened the show complete with hair bows and sequined sunglasses as they performed a medley of Lady Gaga songs, aptly named “Agag.”

Conductor Katherine Borst Jones made a Gaga-esque entrance as well. She was wheeled out in a desk chair with a cardboard cutout of an egg carried in front of her.

Not to be outdone, Bruce Henniss, director of the OSU Horn Choir later wandered onstage as Homer Simpson, directing an ensemble of various characters from “The Simpsons”, including Lisa Simpson, Sherri and Terri, and Montgomery Burns.

Even Bart Simpson ran onstage from the audience with his French horn after a cry of “Eat my shorts!”

The concert is not required of music students, said Dan Kozlowski, a first-year master student and a percussionist in the OSU Percussion Ensemble.

Kozlowski also helped arrange the ensemble’s musical number, a medley of Britney Spears, Bach and Rebecca Black played on mallet instruments.

The ensemble dressed as bananas, a monkey and George Bush.

The medley came complete with a dance act at center stage, composed of five male students in dresses and skirts, dancing to “Friday” by Rebecca Black. One member of the group even rapped the verse as the audience laughed and clapped along.

The show has never sold out, but it has come close, said Adrienne Marshall, a graduate assistant and box office manager for the school of music.

Tickets for the event were $4 for students and $6 for the general public, with a portion of the profits donated to the United Nations Children’s’ Fund.

Some of the audience members were families with children and senior citizens, but most were students.

This is not unusual for the show, Pierson said.

Liz Beck, a fifth-year in music, has performed in the last four HalleBOOia concerts, but sat this one out, as her ensemble didn’t play this year. But that didn’t stop her from joining in the festivities, dressed as a Heinz ketchup bottle.

“This is going to be my first time in the audience. It’s going to be a little different, but it should be fun,” Beck said.

While the concert isn’t a requirement for students, it doesn’t stop them from getting involved and enjoying the show.

“It’s just a giant party; it’s ridiculous that they call it a concert,” McGreen said.

Sarah Ignatz-Hoover contributed to this story.

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