September 27, 2020

WTSR Battle of Soloists makes for musical meal equiv

Junior history secondary education major Danielle Steward performs. (Tom O’Dell / Photo Editor)

Those who listened closely over the dull roar of students lining up for meal equivalency in the Brower Student Center on Thursday were treated to the musical stylings of three talented student performers.

Danielle Steward, Colleen Napolitano and Alex Matteson competed in WTSR’s Battle of the Soloists, each hoping to take home the top prize: the chance to open for WTSR’s Rock n’ Raffle Battle of the Bands on Feb. 4.

Napolitano, a senior graphic design major, performed two original songs, “Lighthouse Keepers” and “Manifesto” and a cover of Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In the Airplane Over the Sea.” She accompanied herself on the acoustic guitar.

Napolitano, who also performs under the name White Star City, is a familiar face on the College music scene, having played at various events in the past.

Matteson, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, also showed off his acoustic guitar skills. He performed a number of covers, including Jimmy Eat World’s “If You Don’t, Don’t,” as well as Weezer’s “Tired of Sex.” He, along with Steward and Napolitano, performed at WTSR’s “Decaf” series in October.

Despite the talent of the latter two performers, it was Steward who walked away victorious. Steward, a junior history secondary education major, was the only contestant to sing all

original songs, “I am Lost,” “Wondering Why” and “Shipwrecked,” while playing — what else? — the acoustic guitar.

Despite her small size, Steward’s vocals were clear and powerful enough to be heard over the chaos of the crowded student center. Her songs are influenced by folk and indie artists.

Senior graphic design major Colleen Napolitano performed two original songs. (Tom O’Dell / Photo Editor)

“Anything from Bob Dylan to Ingrid Michaelson, Regina Spector, Jewel,” Steward said.

Steward was chosen as the winner by a panel of WTSR staff. She received a gift card to the Princeton Record Exchange and the opportunity to open Rock n’ Raffle.

“I think all of the performers did a fantastic job,” said Alec Plasker, sophomore communication stu-dies major. “It is very difficult to perform somewhere like the Stud where there are so many people doing so many things. It is easy to get lost amongst all of the sound, but the performers really held their own. Congrats to Danielle for winning. I can’t wait to see her open for the Rock n’ Raffle.”

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