From Furnald lobby to a Broadway nightclub, LyricLion is stepping up its game on Thursday by taking the stage at 54 Below, a downtown 1920s supper club.
The seven-person group will join Sarah Dooley, BC ’11, and other Columbia artists at 11:30 p.m. for a program arranged by Solomon Hoffman, CC ’14 and the ensemble leader, that pairs a classical ensemble with pop singers.
At Thursday’s show, singers Olivia Harris, Rebekah Lowin, and Taylor Simone, all CC ’14, will be accompanied by LyricLion flautist Caroline Sonett, CC ’14, bassoonist Cynthia Jung, CC ’15, hornist Joe Betts, CC/Juilliard ’15, violinists Elizabeth Sun, CC ’15, and Joy Pai, CC ’16, and cellists Corinna Boylan, CC ’15, and Greg Barber, CC ’15. The musicians will also play with several artists who live in New York, but don’t attend Columbia.
Hoffman said that 54 Below encouraged them to work with non-Columbia songwriters to broaden their base.
“54 Below had some recommendations of younger singer-songwriters living in New York City,” Hoffman said, adding that he reached out to some friends he has in the city. “I think less than being excited about one particular piece, I’m excited about the variety of styles. Opening it up to a larger pool of songwriters means that we have so many different genres and influences.”
More than an opportunity to work with non-Columbia artists, for Hoffman, the show is an opportunity to take his group into another venue in the city after its progress since being founded.
“We got the idea of 54 Below because Rebekah Lowin was singing there in October and it’s a really nice space,” Hoffman said. The group sent 54 Below videos of their previous performances, and the Broadway cabaret music club booked the group for its musicianship.
“What really struck me was how they’re all top quality musicians,” Emily Essig, a spokesperson for 54 Below,said.
According to Essig, the club is trying to diversify its late night slots with younger musicians and student shows that are more affordable—reaching out to comedy, a cappella, and other groups that are slightly different from 54 Below’s regular musical theater program.
Among the Columbia-affiliated collaborators, Hoffman is especially excited to be working with Sarah Dooley, BC ’11, who recently released her album “Stupid Things” and will be performing her tracks “My Body is Champagne” and “Watching Goonies at My House.”
“I love the ‘My Body is Champagne’ arrangement because it’s a very old-fashioned song, and having a bassoon with the sounds he creates through the arrangement really brings the music to life,” Dooley said. “I’ve gotten so used to hearing my songs very bare with just piano and voice alone in my room. The soaring soundscapes of cello and flute open up a whole new world of sound.”
As much as events like Thursday’s show allow Hoffman and LyricLion to branch out, he also sees them as an opportunity for talented people on campus to join forces.
“There are so many great musicians here and a lot of great chamber music and orchestra going on and a lot of great singers, but they don’t always get to play together,” Hoffman said.
LyricLion will perform April 3 at 11:30 p.m. at 54 Below, 254 West 54 St. Cover charge is $10.
Correction: An earlier verison of this article stated that cellist Maddie Tucker, CC/Juilliard ’15, would be playing with LyricLion at 54 Below. The second cellist for this show is actually Greg Barber, CC ’15. Spectator regrets the error.