Every Thursday and Sunday night, music streams from the Anderson Student Center’s Woulfe Alumni Hall.
After freshman Chad Berg nods his head, St. Thomas’ newest addition to campus, a men’s a cappella group, sings in perfect harmony.
“But you gotta keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh.
You gotta keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh.”
Berg directs and plays the piano for the group and said he started it after discussing the idea with some seniors.
“It occurred to me that this is definitely something that can happen. It’d be a huge task, but it could be a great addition to St. Thomas,” Berg said.
Berg started the group at the beginning of spring semester and has since amassed a small collection of voices.
As of now, there are 10 members in the group. Like many other collegiate a cappella groups, Berg said his all-male a cappella choir will likely be small and exclusive.
Berg, who is double majoring in finance and economics, said he became interested in singing during high school. Though he first joined choir at Rosemount High School to fulfill graduation requirements, he said that he now sings for pure enjoyment.
In recent years, a cappella groups have moved to the spotlight through shows like “Glee” and “The Sing Off.”
Sophomore Brandon Miranda said the men are singing less for the popularity and more for their love of music.
“I love the fun atmosphere. This is contemporary music. It’s a lot of fun,” Miranda said. “There’s just something about it that you just can’t mimic.”
“We’ve been practicing, and we’re looking to start performing and get our name out there so that next year, we can hopefully hold auditions and be a little bit more involved,” Berg said.
The group hopes to become an official St. Thomas club by next fall, despite a few obstacles.
Berg said he hopes the fact that it is an exclusive all-male a cappella choir will not deter the university from allowing it to be an officially recognized club.
Senior Tiffany Lewis said she is excited about the new group on campus.
“I’m looking forward to it. I feel like it would be really awesome to have an a cappella group on campus,” Lewis said.
Berg said the group hopes to have some impromptu “concerts” in the upcoming weeks.
“We’re going to look into doing dorm tours, maybe in the next couple of weeks… go to Dowling Hall and sing for free,” Berg said.
Those interested in joining the group must audition first, and Berg said there will likely be no more than 16 singers.
“We’re not trying to be a part of the music department as a men’s choir. Our group is its own individual entity. It’s going to be a more fun type of group,” Berg said.
Junior Matt Kopp, one of the singers, said he hopes the group will become a St. Thomas staple even after its founders graduate.
“Our goal is to have the group stay here even when we’re all gone. So we can look 10 years down the road and see the group still here and still singing around campus,” Kopp said.
Amanda Ogbuehi can be reached at email@example.com.