Excellent Senior Recital by Hampton University Tenor
Jason Andrew Dungee gave a wonderful art song recital at Hampton University April 16th in historic Ogden Hall. His way with a song is to create a subtle space, inviting the listener in for an intimate experience of the text and music. When we first heard him as tenor soloist at a Messiah performance in Hampton this winter, we were impressed with his powerful voice with a vibrato-free delivery and crystal clear diction. These qualities were still in evidence but his gentle, subtle approach to art song confirmed what a great talent this young man possesses. We were very pleased but not surprised since his voice teacher, Ms. Lorraine Bell, has a similar approach to art song.
Mr. Dungee's partner for this musical evening was pianist Leslie Neal Douglas, who created the right instrumental setting for the vocalist.
In the song Ride On King Jesus! the full power of his voice was evident. The sound was glorious and even here there was vocal power in reserve. We have a recording by Kathleen Battle of this song and Steve observed that his diction was so clear he could catch every word, unlike the fast passages on the CD.
At the reception in the foyer of Ogden Hall, his fellow students asked Jason to speak. He went up the stairs so he could be seen and heard by the crowd of about 100. With confidence he thanked his Lord, his parents and teachers and his accompanist. Charisma can be added to the list of Mr. Dungee's natural gifts.
Jason came to Hampton University from Wilmington, Delaware and was originally studying to become an instrumentalist. Influenced by a young lady, he joined the choir. There the director, Royzell Dillard thought that he had potential as a singer and recommended voice lessons. Under Ms. Bell's tutelage Jason has discovered and developed his instrument.
His plans after graduation are to remain in Hampton for another year and to work as a singer, after which he plans to attend graduate school. That's good news for us and we plan to keep you posted on when and where he will sing and you can make your own evaluation of what we find to be a great natural talent.