On Jan. 28 beginning at 8 p.m. in the Mabel Brown Room, Keene State College sorority Delta Phi Epsilon, also known as DPhiE, hosted the “DphiE’s The Voice” competition.

Six entertainers hit center stage and sang their songs of choice to the backs of four judges, including Brandon Mathieu, coordinator of the fraternity/sorority life and student leadership; Deb Williams, DPhiE advisor; Tim McCain, senior fraternity brother and Melissa Merrick, DPhiE alumna.

From original songs to Elton John’s classic hit “Your Song,” the competition’s performances were diverse and entertaining, according to spectator and Delta Phi Epsilon sorority sister Bruna de Paula.

“I heard about this event through my DPhiE sisters,” she said.

Melinda Noel / Equinox Staff

Melinda Noel / Equinox Staff

“Originally I decided to attend ‘The Voice’ because a major a part of the fraternity/sorority life is making an effort to attend each other’s events and show our support for one another’s philanthropies,” de Paula added.

She continued, “But by the end of the competition I realized how cool it is to see how talented our friends are and I loved to show my support.”

“I love hearing all of the local talent and I can’t deny that some of the judges’ comments, especially [McCain’s], were extremely funny,” she added.

“If I had the chance I would definitely attend [DPhiE’s] The Voice again and encourage others to go as well,” de Paula explained.

After each performer was critiqued and complimented by the judging panel, spectators used the tickets they received upon entry of the event in order to vote for a winner.

When all the votes were turned in, entry Joe Sansone of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity was chosen as the winner following his performance of Hozier’s “Take me to Church.”

“He sang that song so well — it was impressive. I can only imagine that a song like that could be difficult to sing because of all the different notes and stuff but he did a really good job with it. I think it was a well-deserved win,” Tracy Mallozzi, a KSC junior, said.

Another competitive contestant, who goes by the name James Bird, sang an original  song entitled “Anchor Ridge,” which can be found off of Bird’s album “Parables.”

“After hearing about this event through Facebook over break, I decided to participate in it because it is my goal this semester to stay musically active and play around as much as possible, so this was just another opportunity to do so,” Bird said.

“Although I have performed in front of an audience before, this experience was different because I was playing for judges with their backs turned and I’ve never done that before,” Bird said.

“It’s interesting to play for people who have their backs turned to you,” Bird explained.

While some were visibly nervous during their performances, Bird remained focused in what he was singing.

Bird said, “After playing these songs for a long time, they become second nature and playing them in front of different crowds is more of an exciting feeling nowadays rather than a nervous one.”

He continued, “I am good at getting myself ready in my mind and clearing it before performing so I’m locked into what I’m saying, so it’s easier for others to see what I’m trying to get across.”

“If  I am unfocused and not fully devoted to what I’m singing, the crowd will be too,” he explained.

According to DPhiE’s President and KSC senior Chelsea Day, the competition took place in order to raise money for DPhiE in a fun, entertaining way.

With approximately 100 attendees being charged two-to-three dollars per-ticket, she said the event could be considered a success.

She explained, “We [DPhiE] wanted to host a fundraiser that was campus wide.”

Day continued, “We wanted an event that was entertaining and that got the audience members involved.”

“There’s a lot of talent on campus and we felt that creating a unique singing competition to showcase that talent would appeal to students outside of the Greek community,” Day said.

Amanda Lashua can be contacted at alashua@keene-equinox.com

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