Music has “a huge role in everyone’s lives. It connects us all,” choir member and Sophomore George Stein said.
Music fans will be delighted to hear the musical stylings of the band Six Appeal when they perform during family weekend.
The acapella group from Minneapolis is made up of six men, and started in 2006 as a college group at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN.
“We started as a college group, so we like to connect with our roots,” Andrew Berkowitz, a member of Six Appeal, said. “We also hope to inspire others.”
Performances by more established singing groups can help Gustavus students get an idea of what a career in music could be like.
“It’s great to see professional musicians [and] performers on campus,” Stein said. “Not only does it help us with new experiences and new connections, but it also helps us see potentially what our futures might look like, should we continue our studies and participation in music group [and] ensembles.”
The Six Appeal performance this year will be held at 8p.m. on October 6 in Bjorling Hall.
“Students can expect an electrifying performance‒not just singing,” Berkowitz said. “A little comedy, some dancing. Overall just a well-rounded performance.”
The group has something for everyone, singing songs from a variety of genres and throwing in a dash of comedy to keep the audience laughing.
They are an incredibly accomplished group, having won the 2012 National Harmony Sweepstakes Championship. Since then, they have performed at a myriad of college campuses, state fairs, schools, and theaters.
“We don’t just sing, we really try to connect with our audiences,” Berkowitz said.
That performer-audience connection is something students especially appreciate.
“As a musician, seeing professional ensembles perform (classical or pop) provides another interpretation of music,” First-year Thomas Prahl said. “The point of live music is the human aspect. A recording captures an idealized concept of a composition but a live performance presented by real people provides an interpretation that is completely unique.”
Having music on campus especially helps students get a better understanding of music, “Each performance varies slightly and gives the music a color that only occurs once and can be evocative.
“As a student, that experience can provide inspiration for my own study or performances,” Prahl said. “Having the performances specifically on campus provides an accessible opportunity to people with wild schedules which in turn causes music to be a prioritized value in more student’s lives.”
At a Liberal Arts college like Gustavus, there are many students from all different majors that enjoy gathering together and appreciating music.
“When you come together as a community of students, work hard, and produce some amazing work, it’s truly breathtaking and special,” Stein said. “And what’s even greater is the well roundedness of the student body at Gustavus. A multitude are not only studious and mentally gifted, but also gifted in music.”
Being involved in music here on the hill has a deep effect on students, even if they didn’t explore that talent in high school.
“Being a first-timer in choir, it’s definitely broadened my experiences and music horizons,” Stein said. “You get to appreciate some beautiful voice intricacies as the instructor breaks down different parts and then put it together as an ensemble.”
Prahl had a different insight as to why music is meaningful.
“For me as a music student, specifically Instrumental Music Ed, being a part of the vocal community provides me an opportunity be be a better rounded musician,” Prahl said. “I gain important experiences in a largely different ensemble type that will help me have another set of experiences to teach students later in my career field.”
From Daily Sabbath to Christmas in Christ Chapel, a required music theory class to a club choir group, it is clear that Gusties love music.
As for Six Appeal, the members are more than ready to get into the Gustie spirit on Friday.
“It’s not our first time at Gustavus,” Berkowitz said. “We’re excited to be back.”