Concert bridges French, English divide

Eric Vincent performs Oct. 31 in Webster Hall auditorium as part of the France Semester. He performed love and comedy songs.

Eric Vincent performs Oct. 31 in Webster Hall auditorium as part of the France Semester. He performed love and comedy songs.

With no introduction or anything other than audience applause, Eric Vincent jumped on stage, with only his guitar and voice, and shared his interpretation of French culture.

Alone on the stage Oct. 30 in Webster Hall auditorium, Vincent performed songs of love and comedy. This performance was Vincent’s first experience with Joplin and he said he enjoyed it considerably.

“It’s the first time, but I hope it’s not the last time coming here,” Vincent said. “It’s a great moment to be incorporated into the audience. You feel a brotherhood.”

Members of the audience were pleased with the latest France Semester concert. Julie Anderson, a Columbian Elementary School teacher, said her favorite songs were with recordings of James Taylor. Even though she couldn’t understand the lyrics, she didn’t let the language barrier keep her from enjoying the show.

“It was refreshing,” she said.

Audience members could see others appreciate the atmosphere and audience-involvement with the show. Vincent taught some French phrases and encouraged singing along and clapping with the beat. An unexpected part of Vincent’s performance scared some students in the front row.

“I thought he was going to fall off the stage when he jumped off the stage,” said Taylor McQuay, a sophomore at Pittsburg High School.

Her friend, Madison Ebbs, a junior attending the same school, thought the jump was unique.

“It was a fun kind of strange,” she said.

The Pittsburg High School group, who study French, said their teacher found the France Semester concert an opportunity for them to pick up a little more of the language. French instructors from Missouri Southern took advantage of this concert for students’ benefits as well. Judy Parsons, instructor of French, purchased two of Vincent’s CDs after the show.

“[The students] can never use this now as an excuse not to do their homework,” she said. “I just really wish more students had come, they would have loved it. It was really wonderful.”

Rod Surber, director of public information, also said he hoped students would take advantage of Southern’s programs.

“This is what education is all about,” Surber said. “It’s not just about studying and classroom work, or athletics. For a full college experience you just can’t have one without the others and say you got an education, you have to have it all.”

Surber went on to say if he had a chance to go back to his college days, he would have been more involved in similar programs like the concerts.

“These are phenomenal performances and programs for free,” he said.

Vincent thanked Andrew Thompson, senior theatre major, and Claudine Barbin for their participation in sound and lighting of the stage. Vincent also mentioned his gratitude for the invitation from Dr. Chad Stebbins, director of the Institute of International Studies. After the show, Vincent signed CDs and encouraged his audience members to see his Web site at