MU music members find comfort in singing

While many students are now quarantined, Instagram story threads of various challenges, drawings and bingo games have become a new and growing trend. One new trend this past week was a graphic called “artists supporting artists,” where college music groups tagged one another and reposted, starting a new thread in support of their work.

Allison Spears, a first-year student in the College of Arts & Sciences and a member of the MU Meladies, said she saw the “artists supporting artists” Instagram stories and thought it was super cool.

“Posts like those allow us to positively acknowledge and recognize other groups at Marquette and at other campuses that we have come to know and appreciate over the years,” Spears said. “The a cappella community is super connected, and I think that the ‘artists supporting artists’ posts help us highlight that.”

Spears said she’s seen student artists supporting others in a variety of different ways, such as creating and sharing new music with others, and that the importance of support becomes heightened in changing times like these. 

“The Gold ‘n Blues just recently released an album, and the Meladies and I have really enjoyed listening to and sharing music with others,” Spears said. “A lot of us also keep in touch over social media or texting, and so we’ve been able to reach other to one another personally as well.”

The Gold ‘n Blues is a co-ed a cappella group at Marquette.

Tristan Barrington, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, is a member of the Gold ‘n Blues and the current music director of the group.

Their new album “Generation,” which Spears said she enjoys listening to, is currently streaming and can be found on Spotify and Apple Music.

“To me, singing (especially with the Gold ‘n Blues) is all about the music you make and the community you build along the way,” Barrington said in an email. “Music has the power to unify people in times like these, when we cannot physically be together.”

He said being able to share music with your friends is a way of staying close.

“I think my favorite thing about singing has always been hearing how my voice fits in with the rest of the music; there is something blissful about being a part of a tight harmony,” Barrington said in an email. “Don’t let the pandemic stop you from being a part of something like that.”

With everything that’s been going on with COVID-19 recently, Spears also said music and singing have been a huge source of consistency for her.

“I’ll often play my guitar, sing or listen to music to destress or distract myself from everything that’s been happening,” Spears said. “I’ve actually started to lose my voice because I’ve been singing so much.”

She said that singing has helped to keep her spirits uplifted and to move past recent hardships.

Maeve LeFevour, a sophomore in the College of Communication and member of Marquette’s Gospel Choir, said singing is an escape from reality for her.

“I think singing helps you center yourself,” LeFevour said in an email. “It can be a great way to let out frustration and fear during these unforeseen times. Personally, playing my ukulele and just jamming in my room has been a great creative outlet for me during this quarantine.”

LeFevour said she loves the freedom that comes with singing.

“I love how you can just let all your emotions pour out into song,” she said in an email. “I like how you are encouraged to let your emotions shine through your singing. It enhances the performance.”

Mauria Owens, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, is also a member of the Gospel Choir at Marquette and serves as the membership chair.

She said making music has always been an important part of her life.

“Singing can be calming because it can allow you to travel to a different place,” Owens said in an email. “The beauty of intricate notes, beats and cords can redirect our focus and allow us to forget for a while.”

Owen said learning new songs or musical techniques is very similar to playing a game.

“It can be fun to push myself to do new things,” Owens said in an email. “I also like it because it’s a stress release as I focus on something other than myself while I enjoy the music.”

This story was written by Skyler Chun. She can be reached at skyler.chun@marquette.edu.