A ‘Pfun’ time with ‘Pfriends’

Musical theatre and a splash of ragtime hit Ley Theatre Monday night

Derek Pufahl, Staff Writer,

With a big smile, Staff Accompanist Phil Pfaltzgraff sauntered into Ley Theatre to the sound of rag music on Monday night at 7:30, followed by his equally excited and musically gifted friends, or “pfriends,” according to the program.

Highlighted by Pfaltzgraff, a number of Wayne State College students, faculty and members of the Wayne community (all asked by Pfaltzgraff to perform) let their incredible musical talent shine.

“Did you see what I did there with the ‘p’ in front of the friends?” Pfaltzgraff said. “I think that’s fun.”

Fun would definitely be the word to describe Pfaltzgraff & Pfriends. The performance was light-hearted and fairly informal. Though, at the same time, during the evening, each singer grabbed at the audience’s emotions with their solos and duets.

He began the “collegestyle concert” asking audience members to hold their applause until the end of the show and accompanied each singer with piano and even joined in singing a trio, “Tin Horn Fugue.”

This is Pfaltzgraff’s job at WSC: accompanying the music department.

“I basically just play the piano all day long,” he said.

The only time Pfaltzgraff wasn’t playing the piano was during an instrumental piece performed by Dr. Kolbeck’s Clarinet Choir: “Puttin’ on the Ritz” or when the Good Times Sax Quartet opened the show with their rag tune, “Diamond State Rag.”

Pfaltzgraff has been working as a Staff Accompanist at WSC for seven years. He has a BMusED (Bachelor of Music Education) from Westmar College and has Master’s Degrees in Organ Performance and Music Education from Central Michigan University.

Each of the songs chosen were taken from either a movie or a musical theatre piece. This put a little bit of weight behind each piece.

“I really like story-songs that have feeling to them,” Pfaltzgraff said. “Most of the pieces were chosen by the singers themselves.”

After hearing the amazing, spot-lighted talent of Pfaltzgraff’s pfriends, the well-deserved applause finally came.

The house lights were brought up, but the “pfun” wasn’t over yet.

Audience members were asked to rise and participate in a sing-a-long, led by Senior Elementary Education major Samantha Siewert, while Pfaltzgraff accompanied yet again.

Siewert instructed the audience to snap, clap and move their arms in what you might call a sort of dance.

Siewart is in charge of choreography for WSC’s Black and Gold Show Choir. So usually she is working with a far more talented group of individuals. She had her work cut out for herself with Monday night’s audience.

“It’s hard to get people to want to dance,” Siewart said. “But everybody really got into it and had a great time.”

At the end of the evening, Pfaltzgraff thanked everyone involved with the performance and encouraged everyone to go out and get ice cream or hot chocolate.