Notes on the Award-Winning Baritone’s Holiday Concert

Notes from Dale Jensen –

A nice little bit of nostalgia, as the performers and I shared info about FSU’s School of Music, where we all received degrees: mine in 1958 and ’62, theirs 60+ years later! The occasion was the Sarasota Music Club’s 2022 December concert, featuring Andrew Kapsar, Baritone, and Nadiya Caspary, Piano, with an assist from Cameron King, Tenor.

Kapsar was sponsored by the Sarasota Music Club in the 2022 Florida Federation of Music Club’s Collegiate Vocal Competition, and…TA-DAAH!…He won First Prize! It was easy to see why, as he effortlessly navigated a group of (mostly) familiar Christmas songs in several languages.

As one would expect from a well-trained Voice major, Kapsar handled the German, French, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, Spanish and Italian (whew!) very well. (Well, I cannot really speak for his Polish, but as that is his family background, I will trust him on it.)

Kapsar was joined by a Tenor, Cameron King, an FSU buddy who graduated a year ago and is now working on a master’s degree at Indiana University in Bloomington. His Heroic Tenor vocal quality combined with Kaspar’s warm Baritone to produce a mix that actually gave me chills, as they sang Adolphe Adams’ Cantique de Noel together. Good friends for years, they went back to Tallahassee after lunch to load up their car and head north to Bloomington, where Kapsar will audition for further training. (Please join me in wishing them both Good Luck in their rosy futures!)

Their collaborator, Nadiya Caspary, who is also a recent FSU product, accompanied skillfully and sensitively. As an extra treat, she played several songs from her native Ukraine and other European traditions alone, during a short intermission.

As Nadiya introduced each selection, however, she moved the mic in and out from her face, making the amplified sound louder and softer with each move. As my hearing increasingly welcomes the amplification, I find the casual mis-use of the mic more and more bothersome. (Please folks, grab the mic in your most comfortable hand, touch it to your chin lightly, and keep it there while you speak in a normal voice. Then take it away while you sing/play. Please excuse the rant, but pay attention! Thank you.)

Kapsar, a boyishly good-looking guy (I hate him), has a winsome stage presence (hate him more) and great mic etiquette. He has a nice future in musical theatre, opera, or just as a soloist, wherever his interests take him. One of these days, we may be able to say, “We Knew Him When.” In the meantime, we wish him well in Bloomington and beyond!

And kudos to the Sarasota Music Club for recognizing his talent and giving him help early in his career!

Merry Christmas to all, and a Happy New Year! Ho-ho-ho!

[Webmaster’s note: Dale wrote and submitted this in December.]