Marquette a cappella groups perform holiday classics for charity

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With the holiday break just around the corner, groups on campus are getting into the festive spirit through their holiday traditions. One of these traditions is bringing people together through music, and in this case through the form of a cappella singing. A cappella is a musical performance in which the group creates instruments through their own voices with no sort of accompaniment.

Three of Marquette University’s a cappella groups performed holiday carols in their annual holiday concert “Hope for the Holidays” Saturday, Dec. 4th. The groups included The Meladies, The Gold’n Blues and The Marquette Naturals, and each performed in Marquette Hall.

The a cappella groups created a performance to raise money through donations for Mardi Gras.

Marquette Mardi Gras is a student-run charity that was created that focuses on disaster relief in southern states. They provide services such as rebuilding homes and volunteering at food pantries and sends students five times a year for these services over break.

Charlie Dennert, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, is the vice president for The Marquette Naturals, an all-male a cappella group. Dennert helped organize the event and said that he was very excited to spread some holiday cheer through song. He has been in the group since his first year as a Marquette student, and it has become one of his favorite parts of his college experience.

“(A capella) it’s very personal, it’s very about the social kind of side. It’s just about you and your friends making music together. It’s just you, and that’s what’s awesome about it,” Dennert said.

One of the other groups, The Gold’n Blues, performed the carrols “O Holy Night”, “That’s Christmas to Me” and “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays”. The president of the group, Brendan Wilke, a senior in the College of Engineering, said that the quick turnover from their recent fall concert pushed them to practice hard to create a great performance.

“It’s kind of a packed time for us but also relaxed because they are fun songs,” Wilke said. “In times like these with the pandemic going on, the holiday season is special because we get to share and bring together people through music.”

At the concert, Kamila Cwanek, a senior in the College of Health Sciences and president of The Meladies, announced this concert was the last performance for Emma Knott of The Meladies, a senior in the College of Communication. The two have been singing together since high school.

“It’s so happy because this has been one of my favorite things, if not my favorite thing, here on campus just because of the people. The people in this group are my best friends,” Knott said.

Knott and Cwanek both auditioned for The Meladies their first years at Marquette and now have been a part of the group for the past four years of college. Knott said that through performing together, their friendship has grown and will never end.

Cwanek said that the best part about singing with Knott was her strong and powerful presence on stage.

“She is someone that I’ve always looked up to. She’s been a really wonderful performer her entire life,” Cwanek said.

This story was written by Phoebe Goebel. She can be reached at phoebe.goebel@marquette.edu