Troubadours concert becomes engaging

A unique proposal came out of Saturday night’s Troubadours concert at the Betts Theatre.

Most concert-goers thought the most sentimental part of the evening was going to be the Troubadours’ farewell to Kerry Barnhart and Maura Navin, who sang their last notes with the a cappella group as graduating seniors. But Tony Alanya, who runs the sound booth for the Troubadours, had other ideas.

After the last encore of the concert, Troubadour President Josh Rubin announced that Alanya, a senior at GW, had an announcement. Alanya stepped onstage with three of his friends. While the rest of the Troubadours looked on, Alanya’s friends led junior Angela Aki, the group’s musical director, to the front of the stage, where Alanya serenaded her with his rendition of “True Companion.”

Then, in front of the packed theater, Alanya asked Aki, his girlfriend of two and a half years, to marry him.

“My body was numb,” Aki said. “I didn’t know what he was doing until he got down on his knee, and I realized he was proposing.”

Alanya said the Betts Theatre, where the couple first met at a concert almost three years ago, holds special meaning.

“I’ve always thought about how we met at a concert, and when I heard this song, I thought it was perfect,” Alanya said.

The audience’s thunderous applause led to a standing ovation, as Aki took the engagement ring offered by her new fiance. Several Troubadours cried as they hurried to congratulate the couple.

Alanya and Aki had family members in the audience Saturday night. While both families knew Alanya had planned to propose at the concert, Aki said she was stunned. Although she knew they were going to get married, Aki said she thought Alanya would propose some time in August, as she began her senior year at GW. The couple said they plan to get married after Aki graduates next year.

“When I talked to my mom, my first question was `You knew about this?'” Aki said. “I was in such a daze for hours afterward. It’s every girl’s dream, to find such a great guy, and then to be proposed to in such a sweet way.”

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