Roaring with applause, attendees filled the McKay auditorium on Feb. 2 with cheers during the end of music majors’ Lawrence Laureano and Nicole Villejo’s recital.
Attendees remarked how they could feel the duo’s emotions as they performed on stage. Charlene Lee, a freshman from the Philippines studying elementary education, said during the show, there were times when she felt she could connect with the music. “I actually shed a few tears because of the emotion that was resonating from the two singers.”
The recital featured songs from various musicals such as Aladdin and Dogfight, as well as a famous Filipino song called “Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang?” Villejo, a junior from the Philippines studying music, shared how Laureano, music professor Jennifer Duerden, and her handpicked the songs.
Villejo said, “We really just put the songs we loved in a list, sang, and listened through them. We thought about the stories behind the songs we could share with everyone. We picked the ones we loved the most.”
Viliami Fifita, a senior from Tonga studying English, said he loved the Filipino song despite not knowing the language. “I really liked how they took this recital to their hearts because they’re both Filipinos and it was just magical. It was nice to see them be proud of themselves and to sing it.”
Lee agreed, saying that “Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang?” was very important to her. The song reminded her of her family back home.
Anna Sheffield, a junior from Iowa studying music, shared how she loved Laureano’s rendition of “Proud of Your Boy” from the musical, Aladdin. “There was a part where Lawrence became emotional and that really touched me. That was kind of a big part for me, and I really reacted to that. It was powerful, and it was just beautiful.”
Before every song Laureano and Villejo would perform, they would give a small introduction about the song’s back-story. “Pretty Funny” from the musical Dogfight, was introduced by Villejo. She explained how her character sang the song after finding out the date she was invited to was part of a game of who brought the ugliest partner. Villejo’s character goes home, distraught by the previous events during the night.
The song “At the Beginning” from the musical Anastasia was Villejo’s favorite song during their performance. She said, “The song talks about how we started on this journey and how now we’re at the beginning of the next chapter of our life and it was just the perfect song to end with.
“Lawrence, Sister Duerden, and I didn’t know each other and we never thought we would ever end up working together and become friends. Now, we’re together standing side by side working to make our dreams come true, and it’s just a beginning of an amazing friendship and the next chapter of our life as we go on.”
People gathered outside the auditorium after the recital to congratulate Laureano, Villejo, Duerden. Fifita enthusiastically smiled shared, “I enjoyed every moment of it… It was so good that if you came only for the first part of the performance, you’d have to stay till the end.”