Hey everyone! Welcome to our final installment of our Goodbye Seniors series. It may be sad, but all good things must unfortunately come to an end. But we are going out in a very special way, as Jamie McGregor sits down with me to talk about her time with Mads and her future at BC. Enjoy!
Anthony: Take me back to the beginning, why did you join the Madrigal Singers of Boston College?
Jamie: Well, I didn’t get into any of the other a capella groups (laughs). And then Rob Duggan kept on harassing me about it and then I auditioned but didn’t get in the first time because of marching band. But the second time I auditioned I got in and I’ve loved it ever since.
A: Awesome, awesome. Did you have any interest in High School?
J: Yeah, I was in every chorus I could possibly be in in High School. I didn’t get into district or all-state… I just have a lot of rejections. (laughs) But it’s OK, because I found exactly where I should be.
A: That’s very sweet. Did you know about Mads before coming to BC?
A: Well how did you find out?
J: Rob, I don’t read flyers. (laughs)
A: I know you’re very involved on campus. Tell me about how else you are contributing to BC.
J: I am in Chorale, the Marching Band, the Pep Band, and the Student Admissions Program.
A: What do you do for the Student Admissions Program?
J: I used to give tours and I sit in the admissions office and greet families and sometimes call prospective students. And I’ve been on the service trip to Natchez, Mississippi! We worked with a school for 2 to 5 year olds. It’s the first African American catholic school in the country.
A: Cool! Tell me more about SAP. Is exposing prospective students to BC rewarding for you?
J: I actually find it really exhilarating. It’s something that my girlfriend and I call the “SAP high,” where you have this amazing conversation with a prospective student and then your just so on top of the world. I love that and I am really enthusiastic about how much I love BC.
A: And you want to share that enthusiasm with people?
J: Yeah. It makes me really happy, actually.
A: So you talked a little about the trip to Mississippi. Tell me more about that because I know you like to work with kids, right?
J: Well, we drive 26 hours in a van down to Mississippi.
A: You DROVE to Mississippi!?
J: Yeah (laughs). And it’s just so rewarding to work with these kids because, honestly, in public schools here you can’t touch kids at all in any way. You can’t have any physical contact with them at all. But there you can hug them and pick them up and they can sit on your lap. They love you so unconditionally that its just the most amazing and rewarding experience ever. They LOVE us and we play with them and we do as much as we can for the teacher. And I actually bonded with the nun who runs the school. I was crying when I had to leave.
A: That is wonderful. Alright, so you do a lot of music stuff, why is that?
J: I really love music but I don’t know why because I dread rehearsals and I count down the minutes, but there is just something about music. I take piano lessons and voice lessons; I don’t know why I do it, but I’ve always done it and I guess at some level it brings me a lot of joy but I never really notice it until after I’ve done something and I think “wow that was awesome!”
A: The performance.
J: Yeah. I think my favorite thing that I’ve ever done in my life was singing Tollite with a group of people that I absolutely love outside of the Coliseum in Rome. It was just the most magical moment of my life and I honestly thought if I died right then I would be so fine with that. (laughs) That was how intense that moment was. That’s the chorale theme song, and it was out of this world amazing.
A: Do you get that performance high like you get that SAP high?
A: SAP high is better? (laughs)
J: SAP high is better, yeah. But, when I get a solo, no matter what it is, I shake uncontrollably and I don’t know why because I am never nervous but I am when I’m a soloist. I got a solo in chorale last year and I was shaking like a leaf.
A: (laughs) So back to Mads. Is there a moment during your time with Madrigals that stands out to you as you look back? A favorite moment?
J: That’s a very good question. I think the time when Anthony got the green dragon at the party (laughs). Because his reaction was so genuine and it meant so much to him that somebody paid attention to him and got him what he wanted. And we all just came together in this “we love each other” kind of way. It was just awesome, everyone was so happy that he was so happy.
A: (laughs) Yes, he was very happy. That dragon sits on my desk at home now, I held it in my arms while I took the bus home that winter break. Um, what does mads mean to you? Is it more than excuse to dress up in silly costumes?
J: Madrigals means that its a group a people that genuinely love music for the musicality of music. It’s not like pop music or doos and daas, it is really intense artistry. And its not like contemporary pop isn’t artistry, but someone put it once that the other groups don’t like us as much because we actually know what we’re doing.
J: I know that’s not really appropriate and that might offend a lot of people but I feel like we as a group are in it for the music and not for being popular or anything like that. And you know, I like classical music, I’m classically trained. There’s something about singing that genre that makes you smarter, it makes you more intelligent to focus and do these things. I know it’s hard to put together all the harmonies of popular a capella groups but having to pay attention to every pronunciation and every note and every dynamic is just so rewarding to me. I love that. It’s the perfect group for me because I was so classically trained that a more contemporary a capella group wouldn’t have fit my style of singing. So I really think that fate kind of brought me back, like I didn’t get into the other groups because I’m supposed to be in mads. I really believe that.
A: Do you feel that way about the music for your other groups like Chorale and marching band?
J: Marching band is more about spirit and getting people to appreciate what we do, and Madrigals is more about us appreciating what we do. And then Chorale, I’ve always felt like doesn’t pay enough attention to detail whereas we do. So I think that mads is definitely the most intense group for that focus that your asking about.
A: Cool. So what’s next for you after BC?
J: I’m going to grad school at BC -
J: To be an elementary school teacher, I’m majoring in elementary Ed. Beyond that, I want to teach in the state of Massachusetts, I still want to be around. I’m from Massachusetts, I’m a Massachusetts girl through and through. I’m really excited about the opportunity to teach and give back. And I’m big into using music in schools, I’m going to make up as many songs as I can to help kids remember things.
A: That’s great! Is it possible that you could still be in the group then?
J: I still can be, but I don’t know if I’ll have time. I would love to be able to stay in it.
A: That’s awesome! Thanks for doing this, Jamie!
Anthony Marte ’14
Here comes number three, folks! In this installment of our Goodbye Seniors series, Peter Olsen (AKA Peeeeeeeetah) sits down with me to talk about his life with the Madrigal Singers of Boston College. Interestingly, Peter is in his third year of Boston College but is graduating early and leaving us this Spring. Enjoy!
Anthony: So Peeeeeeeeeetah, take me back to the beginning and tell me why you joined Mads?
Peter: Well, I joined because I was friends with Jon and Louie through Chorale and I went to the Mads concert my Freshman year and I really enjoyed it. I remember “There Will Be Rest” as a song that really stood out to me. And, I also wanted to sing in a small group and be involved with music in a more intimate setting. So I joined second semester sophomore year and since then its become more about the music.
A: So you went to a concert your freshman year?
A: Then why did you wait until second semester of Sophomore year to join?
P: Oh, I guess the tights were a big deterrent for me (laughs). That’s actually true, but then I put them on and they felt wonderful (laughs).
A: (laughs) So you never did Mads in High School before?
P: No, I sang in High School but I never did the whole Madrigal thing.
A: Were you in a regular choir in High School? How big?
P: Well I went to a really big High School. My senior class had about 1000 students in it. Our choir was about 300 people and we had smaller singing groups as well.
A: So you said you wanted to be in a smaller group. Were you in smaller groups in High School? Did you like that a little better?
P: I was, not as small as Madrigals though. I do like smaller groups better, I like singing in that setting. I think it’s a great chance to really bond with the people that your making music with.
A: Right, cool. Did you know about Mads before coming to Boston College?
P: No, not at all. I found out about it when I got here.
A: Well, Peeeeetah, you’re graduating this year even though your only a junior. So talk to me a little more about the how and why of that.
P: Well, how I’m doing it, it’s something called advanced standing which just comes from having AP credits in High School that can count towards my degree. And my English major is less demanding than something like Bio, so I’ll have that done by the end of this year. I found out about it first semester; the decision from there, a lot of it was my parents saying “Oh, if it’s possible for you to graduate, you’re going to graduate.” And I am ok with it because I can spend my time getting ready to apply to Grad school next year.
A: Cool! What are you going into?
P: Music composition
A: Sweet, where are you thinking of applying?
P: I just visited New England Conservatory the other day, it’s really nice there. They have tons of practice rooms. Here you walk through the practice rooms everybody is playing piano or violin or cello, but there was somebody playing harp, somebody playing an upright bass solo, it was great. Any kind of instrument you can imagine and in all sizes of groups, it was really cool.
A: Great! So what else are you involved with on campus here?
P: I write fiction. I’m taking a fiction workshop with a professor named Bob Chibka. The way that class works, it’s 12 students who are all writing constantly and every class two stories will be read and the whole class will give the writer feedback and discuss it. It has really helped my writing I think.
A: So the students give you good feedback?
P: Yes, the students are great. I was worried at the beginning of the year that people just wouldn’t have anything to say because that would be worse than the worst kind of criticism, because then you can’t improve. But everybody is really outspoken and they are all creative writers, so I’ve learned a ton from them. And not only has my writing gotten better, but I have a much better idea of what my weaknesses are.
A: Cool. So is there anything else, any other clubs or organizations?
P: Yes, I do Chamber Music and that’s mostly playing piano.
A: Please, tell me more about that.
P: Ok. Chamber Music includes small vocal groups, sometimes a capella and sometimes with an accompaniment. The instruments include piano, string, and sometimes a clarinet or some sort of wind. I’ve done a lot of accompaniment of string players from the piano and right now, actually, I’m doing a trio that I wrote with a violinist and a cellist.
A: Is there a moment during your time with madrigals that stands out to you?
P: Well, this is kind of a random moment, but I’ll share it with you (laughs). My first Mads rehearsal, after the audition, I was taking the elevator with Louie when Dan Accardi walks in.
A: Oh boy (laughs)
P: And he was introducing himself and talking about this class that he was taking with an English profesor that I know. And I said something along the lines of “Are you an English person?” And he says “Yes, I’m American!” (laughs). So that is my first memory of Madrigals. But another significant memory is the Spring concert last year and everyone was talking to the seniors that were leaving and Katie Ring came up and gave Katie Weintraub a hug and everybody made little speeches and it was very emotional.
A: Yeah, those family moments are very special. That is one of my favorite moments too, that’s a tear-jerker. What does Mads mean to you? Is it more than just an excuse to dress up in costume and sing 500 year old music?
P: No, it’s nothing more than that (Laughs). It’s a lot more than that. To me, Mads is all of the things that I want to be as a person. All of the caricatures that I would like to emulate are in one person or another in Mads. The collection of people is incredible.
A: Yes, Kim said something about that, too. She said it’s interesting how Mads collects such different people that all love the same thing and fit together.
P: That’s definitely right. I remember reading Michael’s interview and he said something about how we are all very weird. And, you know, for 4 hours a week it all fits together in a puzzle of weirdness.
A: (laughs) So you talked about how you wanted to go to grad school a year after you graduate, so what are you going to do in between?
P: Ideally I’ll find a job as a waiter…
A: In your hometown?
P: No, in Boston. And I would be taking composition lessons so that way I can still compose.
A: Oh, so you’ll be around, you’ll visit us!
P: Yeah, and what I ultimately hope to do before grad school is have a piece written for orchestra. That’s a big thing that they look for in applications.
A: Wow. It always boggles my mind how composers can put all the instruments of an orchestra together and know what they sound like and when the time comes to play it, it all comes together.
P: Well, I have a computer program that plays the music for me as I’m writing it (laughs). But before the computer program, composers had to do that. But it still takes imagination and many hours; and even with the computer playing the music, it still doesn’t sound like an orchestra so you really have to know what your doing and make changes when you need to.
A: Thanks for doing this, peetah.
P: Yeah, thank you!
Anthony Marte ’14
It’s that time of year, folks! The Madrigal Singers of Boston College are pleased to announce that the annual Spring Concert Come Start a Joyful Song will be held Saturday May 4th at 8 pm in Gasson 100!
It is certain to be a glorious spectacle of song and merriment.
Anthony Marte ’14
It’s that time of year again! The Madrigal Singers of Boston College are proud to announce their officers for the upcoming 2013-2014 school year!
Louie Fantini – Fall
Ashley Tran – Spring
Michele Becker – Fall
Marie Pellissier – Spring
Hey everybody! Anthony here again with an update to our somber and reflective (but oh so juicy) series in which we say goodbye to our seniors. This time Kim Sykes will give us some insight into her experience as a member of our beloved Madrigals.
Anthony: So Kim, why join the Madrigal Singers of Boston College?
Kim: I saw a flyer in Lyons… and I thought that this would be a fun group (laughs). I wanted to join a singing group and I auditioned for a few groups and got a couple of callbacks. And when I went to the Madrigals callback everyone was really excited and a lot more quirky, so I thought I would really fit in here.
A: Is Madrigals something that you did in High School?
K: I had sung Madrigals in High School but not with a specific Madrigal choir. And my chorus teacher in High School loved Madrigals and did it in college so she always hyped it up. So that’s partially why I wanted to sing madrigals.
A: Did you wear costumes in High School?
K: Only for caroling. We had a big cloak and a furry little muff for our hands and the guys wore top hats, but not the rest of the year.
A: Did you know about Mads before coming to BC?
K: Yeah. Well, I’m not sure if I knew about it before I came to BC but definitely once I got on campus.
A: You said that you found the people in Mads a little more quirky. Go into that a little more for me.
K: Well they knew the Madrigal song that I came in with.
A: What song was it?
K: I think it was Sing We and Chant It. So they were like “Oh, your gonna sing that later!” So that was fun. And the Christmas carols were so much fun and different from what any of the other groups were doing. Also Kayleigh was the director and she’s kind of crazy and I kind of wanted her to be my big sister (laughs).
A: What else are you involved in on-campus? Or off-campus?
K: I’m doing Chorale. I auditioned for that around the same time I auditioned for Madrigals so its been four years. But I sing second soprano in that which is kind of fun and different since I get the harmony.
A: You like that a little better?
K: Sometimes, yeah (laughs). Singing takes up a lot of time, I don’t really do a lot of other extracurriculars. Right now I’m working and I work like 30 hours a week waitressing.
A: Really? Wow. Is that enjoyable? Some nights?
K: Some nights. I have a lot of good stories from it so that’s fun and I like working with my coworkers as a team. Thats part of what I like about Madrigals; it’s a smaller group than chorale and it allows for more teamwork.
A: I’m not sure how good of a question this is, but is there anywhere that chorale and mads meet for you? Like a common ground?
K: I think that the caliber of music is similar and that’s why I like both groups. In chorale we sing very professional pieces with tradition in an organized manner and I think Madrigals is the same way. I like singing songs with history and tradition.
A: And singing in different languages, how do you like that?
K: I like it, it’s really fun and I feel like I’ve learned little bits of different languages. Like if we say something in latin in church I will remember it from singing. I feel like I’ve learned to say a lot of German and Italian. So its cool how even if you can’t speak a language you can read it and sing it.
A: It’s interesting how music brings all of that together for you. Is there a moment during your time with Mads that stands out to you as you look back?
K: I think my favorite moment was the CD recording that we did. We were together as a group for a lot of time. It was a lot of work and little chaotic but it was a great time. It was three straight days of madrigals and on our breaks we would explore the Cardinal’s Mansion and just run around. And we would put on our costumes and take pictures frolicking in the grass.
A: So far you’ve spoken a lot about the personality of Mads and how important that is. What does Mads really mean to you?
K: Mads is like my family and its been really good support during my time here at BC. I’ve made a lot of really good friends and even though some of them have graduated its pretty neat to have that bond. And I’m definitely coming back to visit when I graduate.
A: Awesome! What are your plans for life after BC?
K: I’m going to stay in Boston over the summer and hopefully do internships while I’m waitressing baseball season…
A: Yeah, that get’s rough (laughs).
K: Yes. And I want to apply to grad school.
A: What do you want to go into?
K: Well I’m not sure now. I really want to go to law school but I’m not sure if I want to do something else first and then apply for a Masters in Environmental Policy somewhere.
A: So you’re not at the LSAT stage yet?
K: I’ve taken a prep course but I’m not ready for it (laughs). I’m going to use the summer to figure that out and explore.
A: Cool. Well I don’t have anything else. Is there anything else you would like to say to all the Mads ppl out there? To the alumni? To all the little freshmen out there?
K: I think I’m always surprised at how Mads collects different types of people that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to love madrigals, and I love that. It’s very surprising that people do such different things and have such different majors and other activities but they all really love singing and the family atmosphere. It’s definitely a special kind of personality that is drawn to Mads.
A: Thank you so much for doing this, Kim.
Anthony Marte ’14
Hey Everyone! Your Social Coordinator Anthony here! The Madrigal Singers of Boston College will be losing four of our most beloved members this Spring: Michael Lim, Jamie McGregor, Kim Sykes, and Peter Olsen. Thus, we feel it is very appropriate to profile their time with Mads and let them gush about how much they love all of us.
First up is Michael Lim. Mike is a biochemistry major who hails from Singapore. He’s been with us since his Freshman year at BC and has been an invaluable member of the Bass section ever since. He courteously sat down with me for an interview.
Anthony: So, take me back to the beginning. Why did you join The Madrigal Singers of Boston College in the first place?
Mike: Well, I was looking for a group back in freshman year and I had a pretty busy schedule. So I was just kind of looking for something that was fun that would fit into my schedule. And with Madrigals, I saw a flyer and I said “hey, why not?” And from there it just took off after getting into the group.
A: Did you know anything about madrigals before joining?
M: Not really. I had sung in my high school choir but we mostly did typical modern a capella pieces. After joining Mads was the first time I really went in depth with renaissance music. And after that, i took a class in renaissance music which, you know, really deepened my interest in the genre and the group as well.
A: I see. So today you can say that because of Madrigals, partially, you have an interest in classical renaissance music?
M: Right, right. Exactly.
A: What else are you doing on-campus?
M: Well besides Mads I’m also doing a thesis project in biology and I also do a lot of culture shows for a culture group on campus.
A: Right. For the scientifically inclined out there, what are you doing your thesis on?
M: I’m doing my thesis on cysteine biology in yeast… (laughs)
A: Haha, alright I guess we don’t need to go into detail with that. Tell me about the cultural things that you are doing.
M: My girlfriend is in PSBC, which is the Philippine Society of Boston College, so I dance in their culture shows sometimes.
A: Oh cool! So do you do traditional filipino dances?
M: Yes traditional as well as modern. I normally take part in the more traditional dances.
A: Wow! That is very interesting because my girlfriend is filipino as well and does the same thing with her family. Does the group use traditional instruments like the kulintan gongs?
M: Not so much that, but we do a traditional dance called tinikling with long sticks. The clappers clap the sticks on the ground and the dancers have to dance through them.
A: Yes! I saw that at ALC Showdown a couple years ago.
M: Yes we did do that at Showdown once.
A: Is there a moment during your time with mads that stands out to you as you look back? A favorite moment?
M: My favorite moment was being in New York City with the whole group. (Laughs) Even though the circumstances might not have been ideal, I feel like we really bonded as a group. You know, travelling around together in those kind of circumstances was a real bonding experience for all of us.
A: Yeah definitely. I think the other seniors that went on that trip probably feel the same way. In general, what does Mads mean to you? Is it more than an excuse to dress up in silly costumes and sing 500 year old music?
M: Mads to me is really a place where you can be yourself. I feel like everyone in the group is very quirky and very unique and everyone sees that in each other and understands that about each other. And so people don’t feel shy to really open up and be who they really are and I love that about Madrigals.
A: Why do you think that is?
M: I think, in the first place, to be drawn to sing renaissance music is in itself a quirky thing. (Laughs) And it takes very special people. I think we all recognize this in each other and it makes us secure that we can all show our uniqueness and be unique people together.
A: Wow. Thanks for that Mike. That was very touching.
M: (Laughs) Thanks.
A: What’s next for you after BC?
M: I’m going to explore the research industry in Singapore. I feel like the industry there is good, there’s money there. I hope to get a job and then after that apply to Grad School in the US.
A: Anything specific that you’re looking for in Singapore? Bioengineering maybe?
M: Yes. Bioengineering and genetics.
A: Cool, cool. Yeah very much in line with your thesis work.
A: Alright. Thanks for giving me some of your time Mike and good luck.
Anthony Marte ’14
Hello Mads enthusiasts!
Welcome to the Spring Semester. As per usual, we are dusting off our olde madrigal books and cracking open a few new pieces as well. Right now, we are looking for some NEW MADRIGAL SINGERS! If you are a part of the BC community and have maybe sung in high school, or just enjoy singing in the shower WE WANT YOU. At this point in time, we are looking for a few good men (if you’re Tom Cruise, you’re in, Jack Nicholson, not so much) who would like to be a part of an organization dedicated to making great music while having a great time in the process. Here is the audition information:
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
6:30pm – 7:30pm
Lyons 4th Floor
Prepare ANY piece in the world
We would love to see you there! Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Here’s a piece from our concert last week. Other videos may be found on our YouTube channel. Enjoy.
Come see your favorite Boston College-affiliated renaissance choir in our annual winter concert! This year’s performance will be called “Hark! Songs of Good Cheer!” and will be held this Thursday, December 6, 8pm in St. Mary’s Chapel at Boston College.
After much deliberation we have decided that The Madrigal Singers of Boston College 2012 Winter Concert will be held Thursday December 6 in Saint Mary’s Chapel!
Stay tuned for more details and keep an eye out for that gorgeous, chalice-ridden banner that should be unveiled in the quad within the next week.
Louis Fantini, Class of 2014
Social Coordinator, Madrigal Singers of Boston College
It is done! Yesterday came the triumphant end to the semesterly joy of the audition process. First, we’d like to thank everyone who came out and sang for us. You all brought something unique and valuable to the table and we hope to see you again sometime down the road. But from the blood, sweat, and tears of the audition process (and by this, I mean just sweat. We all know how stuffy Lyons 4 gets, but I digress…) we have forged forth a glorious new class of Boston College Madrigal Singers. We couldn’t be more excited, so I’ll delay no longer: your new 2012 Mads!
Kirsten Haley, Soprano
Pamela Hickey, Soprano
Michele Becker, Alto
Paul Lavadera, Bass
Congratulations to all the new members! We can’t wait to sing with you!
Louis Fantini, Class of 2014
Social Coordinator, Madrigal Singers of Boston College
Warm greetings and welcome to our legions of loyal readers. Just a quick update from your friendly university Madrigal Choir:
They’re happening! This week, even! You needn’t have been born in the 15th century, you don’t even have to have any real choral experience. Just prepare any song you’re comfortable singing and swing by Lyons Hall, 4th floor, Monday (9/17) 5-7pm, or Tuesday (9/18) 6-7:30pm. The entire process will take about ten minutes and be completely painless (seriously). There’s quite a few openings in the group, so if you have any desire, come on out, we’d love to hear you sing!
A Capella Fest:
If you’re too nervous to try out but would still like to enjoy some early music from a more, erm, spectatorial perspective, come by A Cappella Fest at Robsham Theater, this Saturday (9/22) at 7:30pm. This is the biggest vocal music event at Boston College, featuring almost all of the BC’s a cappella groups. Only $10 for a night of fun and music, with all benefits going to the Morgan Center. Supporting the arts, having a good time, AND all for a good cause? Impossible? On most nights, perhaps but not at A Cappella Fest!
Louis Fantini, Class of 2014
Social Coordinator, Madrigal Singers of Boston College
We’re back! I hope everyone had a restful summer and survived their first week of class (presumably so, if you’re reading this), and that everyone is ready for another action-packed season of early music at Boston College! For a quick semester overview, we’re hoping to add a few more concerts and more caroling to the winter season, in addition to our Winter Concert scheduled tentatively for the first week of December. Looking a little further ahead, we’re hoping to record a CD in the Spring semester, so you should probably begin to prepare your ears for the glory of The Madrigal Singers of Boston College recorded in hi-fidelity, stereophonic brilliance on compact disc.
Along with a new season comes new officers, so grant me the pleasure of officially introducing the officers for the 2012-2013 academic year:
President: Jonathan Mott
Vice-President: Michael Lim
Treasurer: Ashley Tran
Social Coordinator (and author of this fine blog): Louis Fantini (Fall)
And, of course, equal congratulations to all the returning members for just being so awesome/talented/attractive.
And with the new season comes the equally exciting task of recruiting new members! We had a very successful Student Activities Day, with a lot of excitement form prospective members, so we cannot wait to hear the new, undoubtedly beautiful voices. If we spoke at the fair, then you probably already know this, but for anyone else everything you need to know is as follows:
Any BC Student is free to audition. No background needed, only enthusiasm is required! Auditions will take place on Lyons 4th floor on Monday, 9/17 from 5-7pm and Tuesday, 9/18 from 6-7:30pm. Feel free to drop by at any point during those times. The audition process is completely painless; just prepare any short piece of your choice to sing and we’ll run through some basic exercises. It should only take about 10 minutes out of your day, so why not? Come by and sing with us!
We’re hoping to see lots of new faces and hear lots of new voices. Get excited for a new semester of hot madrigal action, but for now, enjoy this balmy September evening with some Pärt and Rachmaninov:
Louis Fantini, Class of 2014
Social Coordinator, Madrigal Singers of Boston College
Hello everyone. Last Thursday was our annual spring concert. We celebrated spring through a collection of several different madrigals and also bid farewell to our six graduating seniors (Dan Accardi, Chris Asmar, Jill Bailey, Theron Patrick, Sara Schulz and Katie Weintraub).
Thanks for all of the support that you have given us over the past year. Enjoy the summer and see you in September for more MADRIGALS!!!
Please see our Media page for several of the pieces that we performed and YouTube for many others. Here’s one to get you started…
Today we had our annual elections. As usual, competition was fierce. Here are the “officers-elect” who will take the reigns at the end of this academic year:
President – Jonathan Mott ’14
Administrative Chair – Michael Lim ’13
Treasurer – Ashley Tran ’15
Social Coordinator (Fall) – Louie Fantini ’14
Social Coordinator (Spring) – Anthony Marte ’14
Here are some stipulations for the future officers left by an anonymous voter:
Jon – to cut his hair super short
Michael – to take off his shirt for us
Ashley – to wear a belt
Louie – to grow a beard
Anthony – to shave
Last weekend, we visited Wesleyan University and joined one of their a cappella groups, the Mixolydians, in a concert. Like us, the Mixolydians are a student-run a cappella group which sings a wide variety of older and more modern choral repertoire. This concert provided both of our groups with a fantastic opportunity to learn from one another and expose each group to other repertoire. We hope that we can have the Mixolydians and other student-run choral a cappella groups to BC some time next year for another concert showcasing some of the best student-run vocal talents out there.
After our trip to Connecticut, we are gearing up for the final performances of the semester.
- On April 28 at 4pm in Gasson 100, the Mads will be performing in BC’s annual ArtsFest. In addition to attending our performance, we strongly suggest that you check out some of the many other talented arts groups from BC. Dance, music and artistic performances will be held all throughout the weekend, so be sure to stop by. For more information, please visit: http://www.bc.edu/content/bc/offices/artscouncil/festival.html
- On May 3 at 8pm in St. Mary’s Chapel, we will be having our annual spring concert titled, Music in Bloom, which will showcase the selections that we have been tirelessly rehearsing this semester. Each piece in this concert is connected in some way to spring–whether it be love, April showers or Easter. We hope that you will be able to celebrate the wonderful music and spring with us on May 3 and also join us in wishing the seniors many successes in their future musical and professional lives.
WOW. Quite an amazing video. Over 3000 participants. Speaks greatly about the uniting and transformative power of music and the good that we humans can do when we work together. Also check out his new album, “Water Night” in iTunes.
Congratulations to Peter Olsen and Marie Pellissier for being accepted into Mads! Thanks for auditioning and can’t wait to get rehearsing, performing and most importantly, into costume!
Hello Everyone! We here at BC hope that you all are enjoying the winter season!
Next week on Tuesday and Wednesday (1/24 and 1/25), we are going to be holding auditions for any member of the BC community interested in singing with us. You are welcome to stop by the fourth floor of Lyons any time between 6pm and 8pm on Tuesday or Wednesday with a song of your choice prepared to audition. If you have any interest in singing, we strongly encourage you to audition as we make our auditions as low-stress as possible. If you have any questions, please feel free to email email@example.com. Hope to see you there!
Thanks so much to everyone who attended our Christmas concert last Thursday! We appreciate all of the support we received and we hope that you enjoyed our selections. If you are interested, a few of the pieces that we performed on Thursday can be found on our Media page. Below is one of our favorites, complete with a sassy binder “snap”. Please stay tuned for next semester’s concert information. From everyone in the Madrigal Singers, we hope you have a warm and pleasant holiday season!
Come join us tonight at 8pm in St. Mary’s Chapel for an evening of Christmas classics, some old, some new!
Hello everyone! We are entering one of our favorite seasons of the year, the Christmas concert season! We have been working hard all semester to put together a solid repertoire of both older and more classic Christmas pieces. This year, our first opportunity to perform holiday repertoire will be on Friday, December 2nd at the Concert for Congo. Our group, along with several other performing-arts groups on campus will be performing at Robsham Theater in a charity event benefiting the Panzi Hospital in Congo. This concert is for a great cause, so I strongly suggest that you attend.
Secondly, on Thursday, December 8th, at 8pm, we will be having our annual Christmas concert in the beautiful St. Mary’s Chapel. This concert will feature everything that we have been working on this semester including works by Palestrina, Victoria, and Praetorius. Admission to this concert is free. This is always a fun concert for the performers and audience alike, so be sure to stop by!
Hello everyone! Like last semester, we are going to be posting about a few of the pieces that we will be performing this semester. Each year during the fall semester, we focus our repertoire selections around the holiday season. That’s not to say that we don’t sing an occasional secular song during the fall semester, but we do sing mainly Christmas music. Yes, we sing the traditional “Silent Nights” and “Jingle Bells’”, however, being a Renaissance group, we also like to choose a few works composed in the style of the Renaissance.
This year, one of these “Renaissance-Christmas” pieces that we will be performing is “Alma Redemptoris Mater”, a motet by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. The text of this piece is a Marian hymn that, back in the day, was recited between the first Sunday of Advent and the Feast of the Purification on February 2nd. Essentially, the text is a prayer to Mary asking her for joys and blessings similar in grandeur to those she received from the angel Gabriel when he announced to her that she will bear the son of God. Thus, the anticipation of the birth of Jesus that is referenced in the text makes it a fantastic piece to sing around Christmastime!
The music itself is quite unusual for a Renaissance composition. Commonly, in a piece composed by Palestrina, one will see long, contrapuntal/polyphonic passages where no voice part is valued more than another. In “Alma Redemptoris Mater”, Palestrina writes mainly in a homophonic/homorhythmic style where each of the voice parts sings with the same rhythms with one part containing the main melody while the others harmonize the melody. This technique is much more indicative of a Baroque composition rather than a Renaissance composition. Nonetheless, Palestrina at times reverts to his signature contrapuntal roots, especially at the end of the piece where he quotes (or perhaps sets a foundation for a quotation in) “Sicut Cervus”, another motet for four voices. (The actual years of composition are unknown, however these two motets were published much later in the same volume of a publication of Palestrina’s works.)
Please enjoy a performance of “Alma Redemptoris Mater” below. Stay tuned for more of our repertoire!
Thanks to everyone who auditioned this semester. We saw oodles of talent this semester and we strongly encourage everyone to audition again next semester.
Congratulations to Anthony Marte, ’14 and Ashley Tran, ’15 , our newest members! We are truly excited to have you and can’t wait to start practicing!!! YAY!!!
If anyone has any questions about the audition process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. THANKS AGAIN TO ALL WHO AUDITIONED!!!