Freshman Performing Arts Night draws potential members

42 groups performed for new Penn students at Annenberg on Saturday

· September 9, 2012, 11:33 pm

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On Saturday, new students received a taste of what it’s like to be part of a Penn performing arts group.

Each of the Performing Arts Council’s 43 member groups gave a small performance inside the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at the annual Freshman Performing Arts Night.

This show is held every September to introduce new students to the arts and to foster interest in returning students as well.

The Penn Band opened up the event to a full house. Not all of the performing arts groups on campus are represented by PAC, but many are included. Ranging from a capella, acting, dance, comedy and spoken word, the groups of PAC represented many artistic and cultural styles. Viewers were given brochures describing each group, audition dates and contact information.

The council branches into five subcommittees to support their numerous groups and each one is led by an executive chairperson. Throughout the performances, the chairs introduced themselves and their subcommittee, and invited the audience to contact them for any inquiries and about getting involved.

Among the variety of performances, students had their favorites.

Engineering freshman Alexander Kleis enjoyed the Pan-Asian Dance Troupe the most. “I wanted to find out more about groups on campus, since I didn’t know a lot about them,” he said. Kleis does not think he will try out, but does see himself coming out to support his friends at future shows and events.

College senior Daria Gaut, a member of Sparks Dance Company since her freshman year, encouraged interested students to try out. “It gives them a smaller community within the university, friends and to continue doing what they really love,” she said. “I really like being able to perform, not only for Penn students and friends, but for local people and the community.” Sparks Dance Company has performed for groups like the Salvation Army.

Auditions for all the groups will be held over the next week for interested students.

Wharton junior Chirag Pathre, the Singers, Musicians, Comedians and Spoken Word Chair, said in an email, “PAC has found that FPAN has definitely led to a higher sign-up rate in the performing arts groups among both freshmen and upperclassmen. We look forward to continuing the tradition of FPAN in years to come.”

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