By Jason Mount
Students can unwind from semester stressors and celebrate the holidays with a special R-Factor holiday concert on Friday, Dec. 2, in the Bart Luedeke Center theater.
Assistant Director of Campus Life and R-Factor mentor Nicholas Barbati wants to make sure that students have some sort of stress relief around the holidays, and he is hopeful that this special concert will do just that.
“We always hear feedback from our students that they need some relaxation around the times of the holidays because of finals coming up,” Barbati explained.
He also said the performers from the R Factor will now have another chance to perform without being in a competitive setting.
Sophomore elementary education major Paige Davis, who will be performing in the holiday show, explained that she missed singing and that R Factor helped her perform again.
“The idea was brought to myself and [freshman behavioral neuroscience major] Caleb Holt, who was my partner [on the R Factor],” Davis said. “I got an email asking if I wanted to do it, and Caleb and I definitely wanted to.”
Barbati mentioned that each of the songs are personally selected by the performers, as each holds a special meaning to the individual.
“They selected the songs that they feel they best connect to for the holiday season, so we’re going to be hearing a lot of stories about our student performers and what the holidays mean to them,” Barbati said.
Davis commented on her and her partner’s song choice, “Baby, it’s Cold Outside,” and the challenges it presented during rehearsal.
“We listen to the song a lot in general because it’s a popular Christmas song,” she said. “But we realized that we didn’t know as much about the song as we thought we did.”
Despite this challenge, Davis is positive she and Holt will “get through it” before Dec. 2.
When asked about how she felt about the whole process, Davis said “everyone is talented,” and that this event in particular was great for her because she’s “obsessed” with Christmas songs. On the topic of what to expect for her performance with Holt, Davis said the audience can “expect something cute.”
The event is also going to have an appearance by former “The Voice” contestant Dez Duron, who performed an acoustic concert on campus earlier in November. Duron will be filling in for previous R Factor mentor Dani Knights, said Barbati.
“He’s going to give words of encouragement to the students, and also perform one of his holiday songs,” Barbati said.
The mentors’ role in the holiday show consists of introducing the acts, sharing holiday stories and encouraging the student performers, Barbati said.
At the end of the day, Barbati hopes that audiences come to not only relieve stress, but to come together as a community and celebrate the holidays with each other.
“It’s a great escape for them to think about the light at the end of the tunnel: the holidays,” he said.
Printed in the 11/30/16 edition.