Gibson Hall is alive with the sound of music this afternoon as a group of Bowdoin students showcase their musical talents at the Note Book Café. Initially a way for Polar Bears enrolled in music lessons to exhibit their semester-long endeavors, the Note Book Café features vocalists, pianists and violinists, as well as finger puppets.

Abriel Ferreira '10 will perform Mozart's "Variations on the Carnival of Venice" with a twist. Her solo will feature a two-minute interlude into which she will integrate a lobster finger puppet.

"The Note Book Café is a chance for students who've been taking music lessons through Bowdoin to perform in a low-key environment," Julia Bond '09 said of the show. "We practice a couple of pieces each over the course of the semester. It's a great way to get experience in a performance setting, and it's a fun way to end a semester's worth of music study."

Bond, who will be performing three vocal pieces she has been perfecting throughout first semester, expressed excitement about the upcoming show.

"It's always fun performing in front of people," she said.

Jake Levin '10, who will be singing three songs from the Soviet era, looked to Russian culture for his individual vocal style.

"My inspiration to sing these songs was a previous performance with Dmitri Hvorostovsky, a famous Russian baritone," Levin said. "Additionally, this semester I have been taking a course on Stalinist culture in Russia, which also served to pique my interest anew in the country and its music."

Levin explained the intricacies of Russian repertoire and the work it took to extract the true meaning of the music.

"Each song conveys a different message or image, and the singer's job is to project that message to his audience," he said. "The emotions guide the voice. Once you discover how the song is speaking to you and can help someone else in seeing it as well, then you're truly singing."

In addition to these vocal performances, Kimberly Ayers '10 will perform a violin solo. Ayers, who will be playing the first movement of Mendelssohn's "Violin Concerto in E minor," practiced extensively to prepare her piece for the show.

"It's a really technical piece and it really did take a lot of preparation," she said. "I practiced the piece all summer and, of course, all semester and rehearsed with the accompanist."

Ayers noted the benefits of Friday's show.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing what they've been working on all semester, because there are some really great musicians in this group," she said of her fellow students.

The Note Book Café will take place in Gibson 101 at 4 p.m. today. It is free and open to the public.