By Julius Brown
On Saturday, April 22 Sacred Heart University’s Ladies-Only Vocal Ensemble, or SHU L.O.V.E., presented “A Celebration of Women” for their Pops Concert. The Edgerton Theatre was the stage for creative expression and celebration of women.
“This whole performance is to let women know that they are not alone, and actually surrounded by support,” said Anna DeVeau-Jaibert, director of SHU L.O.V.E..
SHU L.O.V.E. performed a wide variety of powerful female centric songs. From the soft gentle cadences of “Songbird,” to the strong and determined chorus of “I Will Survive/Survivor.” The celebration of women and women’s rights resonated on stage at every point of the performance.
“Shout out to the SHU choir for acknowledging the power of women,” said junior Winnie Victor.
Along with celebrating women, the concert also served to celebrate the ensembles Director, DeVeai-Jialbert. Members of SHU L.O.V.E. appreciate the amount of awareness that DeValue-Jailbert has brought to women’s rights through the ensemble.
“Anna has just done so much to support and help with empowering women on this campus through this ensemble,” said graduate student April Jauregui. “She also made it more than just a SHU thing, she has made women’s rights a point in the community, by inviting the actual community.”
Also, a part of the SHU L.O.V.E. celebration was a foundation from the surrounding community. A dance performance by the Anacaona Enrichment Program’s all women dance team was included into the celebration of women. The event provided a positive environment for girls and women from all walks of life to feel acknowledged.
“The entire performance was just filled with great energy. The energy along with the great message felt very inspiring and empowering,” said sophomore and SHU L.O.V.E. soprano Stephanie Doheny.
Accompanying the tones of the ensemble were stern and direct lyrics of equality and women’s suffrage. Powerful classics like Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” and Sigourney Truth’s “Ain’t I A Woman” symbolize the fight that women continue to fight every day.
“Women have gone through a lot in 2016, and 2017 looks to be interesting, but we continue on,” said DeVeau-Jailbert.
Unity and equality were reoccurring concepts throughout the night. Male audience members, whether loved ones or just students, were also in attendance to support the female centric event.
“I am glad to see that the importance of women’s rights is so heavily acknowledged here at SHU, it shows that actual difference can be made,” said senior Christiano Lopes.
SHU L.O.V.E. continued their performance with multiple soloist sections that allowed for select singers to flex their vocals.
“It just felt great to step out in front of that audience to send that message of empowerment, all through my voice,” said sophomore soloist Maria Ogundolani.
Other sections of the performance included a duet from SHU L.O.V.E. members Wendy Estavien and Meredith Conroy who performed Beyoncé’s “If I Were A Boy.”
The sequence of songs culminated in a soulful performance of “I’m Every Woman.” Audience members cheered and clapped at the huge show of support and acknowledgment for women.
“This whole night just felt right, this is how we should celebrate each other as women. Girl Power,” said Ogundolani.