“Christendom’s got talent” is a popular phrase for many at the college. Not just a play on the title of a famous television show, the phrase is an honest appraisal of the amount of musical, theatrical, and comedic talent that is displayed at Christendom each year. From concerts to plays, musicals to talent nights, Christendom is a place where art doesn’t just appear occasionally — it thrives.
This was clearly evident at the college’s recently held Senior Benefit Concert, one of the biggest talent nights of the year. A fundraiser for the senior class gift, which has helped construct the Crusader Field scoreboard, amongst other things on campus, the concert was a free-for-all showcase for stand-up comedy, bands, solo artists, and more.
The event is one of many such events held throughout the year, which also includes St. Cecilia’s Night, Cup ‘O Coeli, St. Patrick’s Day, and Coffee House. Musical talent can also be found at the many “pub nights” held in St. Kilian’s Café, and also in front of the college’s residence halls on a daily basis. People love to perform at Christendom, and the college gives students a variety of opportunities to do so. Additionally, there are a number of opportunities for students to perform dance routines, especially at the yearly Swing and Walz competition.
This tradition of encouraging the arts on campus stretches back to the beginnings of the college — pictures can still be found of college founder Dr. Warren Carroll and current president Dr. Timothy O’Donnell performing together with students in the 1980s. Today, students can still find the college president performing at the Senior Benefit Concert, at St. Patrick’s Day, and at other events, setting an example for the rest of the college community on the importance of performing and sharing talents with others.
This example extends to theatrical productions as well. Over the past two years, students have performed in “Les Miserables,” “The Crucible,” and “The Drowsy Chaperone” — all acclaimed shows that showed the range and talent of Christendom students. At other schools, students typically must major in theatrical arts to even perform in such shows. Not at Christendom. Here, any student can audition for a show, a unique facet that senior Danielle Lemieux loves about the school.
“Christendom College has allowed me so many incredible opportunities to enrich my passion for musical theatre and perfect my skills both in singing and on the stage,” says Lemieux. “I have been in numerous musicals throughout my life, but my musical experiences at Christendom College have stood out to me as being some of the most positive and exciting experiences of my musical career. What sets these experiences apart from all others are the fantastic opportunities to perform lead roles in the musicals, since Christendom is not drawing its cast from a specific theatre program but rather, the selection process is based purely on talent and fittingness for the role, regardless of major or year. In addition, the environment is so positive and energetic, for the cast and directors are invested in seeing each performer succeed and give the best performance possible, providing encouragement, support to each fellow cast member.”
The performance arts are a key part of the Christendom experience, running hand-in-hand with the liberal arts education that forms the backbone of the school. Together, they give a student the opportunity to flourish and become the best version of themselves, both on and off the stage.