The sounds of skilled vocalists practicing their craft filled the air on a hot August night on the OCC campus. The beautiful music came from the Recital Hall in the Academic II building where graduates of the College’s Music program reunited for the “OCC Vocal Alumni Summer Sing-In.” The event was planned by OCC Vocal Professors Jean Loftus and Dr. David Rudari as a way to show off the new and modern home of the College’s Music Department. “When we started this event in 1984 I held it at my home,” said Loftus. “Last year we moved it into the Recital Hall and created more of an alumni event. We contacted former students by phone, email and Facebook.”
The Summer Sing-In was highlighted by vocal performances from 16 graduates, many of whom are now singing professionally, teaching music or pursuing a higher degree. Evelyn White, a 2014 OCC graduate, returned for the event. When the Academic II building opened in the fall of 2013 she sang at the ribbon cutting ceremony. White has since moved on to Syracuse University where she is studying music therapy. “I couldn’t wait to come back. Hearing people sing and seeing how it impacts others is what really makes me so passionate about music!”
Class of 1996 member John Halpin also enjoyed the opportunity to participate in the Summer Sing-In. When he was a student the College’s Music program was located in the Gordon Student Center. Halpin was excited to spend time in its new home and get reacquainted with old friends. “The look of the building, the great Recital Hall and the private practice rooms are tremendous upgrades.” After graduating, Halpin transferred to SUNY Postdam’s prestigious Crane School of Music. He is now teaching music in the Cicero-North Syracuse School District where he has spent the last 16 years.
With vocal alumni coming back to reconnect and perform each year Loftus sees the Academic II building bringing new energy to graduates. “The Recital Hall is the perfect venue for gathering and performing,” she said. “I hope to keep this tradition going for many years.”
The Music department would like to recognize Leslie Kraus for all she did to help make this event a success.
Mark your calendar for next year’s event! It will be held Thursday, August 11, 2016 in the Academic II building’s Recital Hall. For more information on alumni events across the campus and information on how to reconnect with OCC please visit www.sunyocc.edu/alumni or contact Russ Corbin at firstname.lastname@example.org.