By Elaine Atherholt
Melissa Gump, a senior voice student at KU, showcased her talent in a senior recital on April 16 at 3 p.m. in the Georgian room of Old Main.
The mezzo-soprano sang select pieces from her expansive repertoire, including Franz Shubert’s ‘Romanze,’ and Andrew Lippa’s ‘Pulled’ from the musical ‘The Addams Family.’
Gump is a graduate of Kutztown Area High School, where she performed in musicals such as ‘Jekyll and Hyde.’ She will be graduating from KU this May with a B.A. in music with a concentration in voice and two minors, international studies and history.
Originally interested in conducting, Gump transferred to KU from Messiah College and switched to KU’s music program after performing as “Wednesday Addams” in Fleetwood Community Theater’s production of ‘The Addams Family’ last summer.
Gump is classically trained in voice as a mezzo-soprano, which adds to her skill and training in jazz singing and experience performing with the Berks County All-Star Jazz Band at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in high school, KU’s Kutztones a cappella group, the University Choir and the Chamber Singers. She has also appeared in many musicals including ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ as “Kathy Selden,” and ‘West Side Story’ as “Gladhand/Francisca.”
Gump’s main fear when performing is forgetting her words. However, she said, “The stage is where I’m happiest.”
Sabatino describes Gump’s voice as having a “lyric sound with great clarity,” which was showcased in her recital as she performed both Broadway and classical pieces, including French and English songs.
Sabatino also attributes an “eagerness to learn” and an “outstanding work ethic” to Gump who demonstrates both qualities in the efforts she put into her senior recital, which include a repertoire Gump has built over the past four years, weekly hour long voice lessons, a recital program designed by Gump, booking the room for the performance more than a year in advance, organizing the reception and working with Sabatino to select the featured songs.
After graduation in May, Gump plans to work on her performance resume over the next year by continuing to perform in community theater productions. While her dream job would be performing on Broadway, she intends to use her KU degree to teach voice lessons and keep performing.