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Saint Mary’s Bellacapella group makes debut

Mandi Stirone | Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bellacapella, an a capella singing group made up of women from Saint Mary’s College, will make their debut concert performance on campus tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Little Theater in the Moreau Center for the Arts.

Co-directors Bridget Spore, a Saint Mary’s junior, and senior Erin Anhut got the idea to start a singing group last year after attending a performance by Notre Dame’s Undertones.

The concert performance has been scheduled since the fall semester, Spore said, and much of the planning has gone into raising funds because the group started out with no money. The group had to get some gigs before they could print out posters and do advertising for the performance, she said.

At their performance tonight, the Undertones will open for Bellacappella, just as Bellacappella has opened for the Undertones in the past, Anhut said.

The independent, student-run group is composed of 15 women, all of whom are members of the Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir, Spore said. The members went through an audition process, Spore said, and since the auditions were held, the four hours a week of practice have created friendships between the girls in the group.

Unlike the traditional choirs at Saint Mary’s, Bellacappella sings what Anhut described as popular music. The group will cover songs from the Beatles, The Supremes and Jewel. They also plan to perform a television show medley that will include theme songs from “Friends,” “Family Guy” and the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Spore said.

They chose to sing modern, popular music because a cappella groups do not normally perform it, Spore said.

“Plus, it’s fun to sing,” Anhut added.

Junior Megan Welsch, a member of Bellacapella, agreed, saying that she joined the group because she likes to sing popular music. The group hopes to draw an audience of its peers from Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame and Holy Cross, Anhut said.

Bellacappella member Sarah Sult, a senior, said the group is good for Saint Mary’s because it shows off a kind of talent different than the traditional choirs.

Director of Choral Activities Dr. Nancy Menk gives the group her support and advice.

“I think it’s wonderful,” she said.

She said she has always wanted a group like Bellacapella, but that she wanted the students to decide to do it, rather than her making them do it.

Tickets are $3 and will be sold an hour before the show as well as during lunch in the Saint Mary’s Student Center.