Photo by Sean Jeter
Artist Charles Holt gives a performance on Wednesday, Feb. 25 in the music recital hall.
Black artist and professional singer Charles Holt graced Southern Oregon University with his renditions of classic songs in the music recital hall, Wednesday night.
The show was part of the Black Student Union’s celebration of Black History Month.
Holt is a former actor who performed in plays such as Broadway’s “The Lion King” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” During the concert, he told stories that transitioned into related songs, accompanied by piano. From hymns to jazz, every piece had its origin in Holt’s life memories.
“Music and storytelling have always been a vital part of my life growing up in the south,” said Holt. He told anecdotes of his grandmother singing him hymns as a child, some of which he sang to the audience.
In addition, his performance was also a mixture of different music genres. Holt commented on this aspect.
“I don’t believe you can have blues and not have jazz,” Holt said before launching into several songs of the like. He credits music giants like Duke Ellington and Donny Hathaway, among others, as the sources of his inspiration.
The audience had a chance to participate as well, singing along with the chorus of the rock song “Twist and Shout.” They also clapped to the beat of other songs as well. Holtincluded popular songs in his set such as the musical RENT’s “Seasons of Love,” one of the evening’s most well liked performances.
Holt’s concert ended with a short recording of Martin Luther King Jr’s speech “I Have a Dream” that led into “America the Beautiful,” closing the night. After the performance, Holt signed autographs and sold CDs.
“I really, really liked what I saw,” said Jessie Hecocta, a junior health and physical education major. “I like the quotes that make me think,” said Hecocta.
Sasha Krafft, a senior international studies major, echoed Hecocta’s words. “His voice resonates and penetrates. It gives one a visceral reaction. It’s unfortunate we don’t have more exposure to music of this caliber.”
For more information about the BSU and Black History Month, contact the BSU in the Multicultural Resource Center. Further information about Charles Holt is located at his Web site, www.charlesholtproductions.com .