The sixth annual faculty talent show took place in the Pirate’s Cove on Feb. 23 from 6-9:30 p.m., hosting a medley of singers, accordion players, actresses, bands and a Prince impersonator.
Dr. Mark Horowitz was the master of ceremonies and led the crowd of faculty, their families, and students through a star-studded program. The night featured many professors from the College of Arts and Sciences and was spotted with university library, Seton Hall Law, the School of Diplomacy, and the College of Education and Human Services faculty.
The event was partnered with DOVE and the monetary donations collected throughout the night will benefit an orphanage in El Salvador, Aldea San Antonio, by providing shoes for children.
Dr. Mary Balkun and Professor Debra Zinicola have been organizing the event for the last six years and have partnered with DOVE on every occasion.
“We always donate to a cause, and it changes every year,” said Balkun, professor and chair for the department of English. “We always work with DOVE to identify the charity. In the past we’ve donated our proceeds to Alpha Boys School in Jamaica, Maison Fortune Orphanage in Haiti and Catholic Charities in Newark.”
The audience responded enthusiastically to the professors’ performances. There was a respectful calm over the crowd when Dr. Anthony Haynor played Mozart’s “Piano Sonata No.16” and righteous howls when the guitar solos began.
Dr. David Beneteau performed with his wife, Professor Nancy Barr, and student Steven Smith, showcasing their talents by playing Pink Floyd’s “Fearless” and Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You.” Beneteau and Smith picked and strummed their guitars while Barr serenaded the crowd with the famous lyrics.
“We rehearsed it probably 40 times,” Beneteau, a professor in the college of Arts and Sciences, said. “These songs are sentimental and easy in a way. I like how they capture the era.”
He expressed his happiness at people being able to do something so enjoyable and support a good cause at the same time. “There’s a certain thrill that comes with playing in front of people.”
Hannah Baker, a psychology major, sat watching the event unfold from a booth directly in front of the stage. As she watched Professor Yates perform a scene from Shakespeare’s Twelfth night, she couldn’t imagine being in her class.
“I wouldn’t have been able to look at my professor the same if I saw her perform,” the sophomore said. Baker knows professors “try to be so serious in class” but their antics at the talent show shattered that image for her.
Even so, Baker enjoyed every act that stepped on stage and hated the fact that she had to leave before it was over.
“It makes me happy to see people do what they love,” Barker said.
Evelyn Peregrin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.