SingPins serenade, perform on campus

ALLISON MAZZARELLA, Staff Writer

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Maucker Union attendees applauded for “The Longest Time” performance by the SingPins on Tuesday, Oct. 24. And last Friday, Oct. 20, Schindler Hall echoed with the sound of the 13 member a cappella group, which is a branch of the UNI men’s Glee Club.

“When I came here my freshman year, [SingPins] was called Camarata,” Brandt Roskens, vocal music education major and assistant director of SingPins, said.  “It was choral music only, no pop music.”  

Last year, music education major and director of SingPins, Will Lubaroff, took the Camarata group, which he described as a “renaissance choir,” and, with the help of Roskens, led it in a new direction. Associate Professor John Wiles, the faculty advisor for SingPins, had the idea of a contemporary a cappella group.  

“We changed the name, came up with a logo and then we started doing the pop music,” Roskens said. “In the Glee club, we have donators, and they help with funds.  If you donate so much money you become a kingpin, so we just took it into SingPins and went with it.

“A couple of the guys are around from the Camarata days, myself included.  It’s a really fun group — just guys that really like to sing and have a good time,” Roskens said.  

About 20 students sat on the steps in the lobby of Schindler Hall as the performance started.  The group consisted of 13 men, all wearing matching jackets with their logo.  They quickly set the mood as they snapped and hummed before they  jumping into their first song, “The Longest Time,” by Billy Joel.  They followed up with “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” with much enthusiasm from the crowd.  

The longer the SingPins performed, the more students they drew from their studies and lunch breaks. Faculty members stepped out of their offices to listen.

They actively interacted with the audience as they continued with songs like “Hooked on a Feeling,” Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” and “O Cecilia.”  All of the songs were performed a cappella, except one song that featured a guitar.

This was the second time the group performed in Schindler Hall, the first being last semester.  After the group’s transition from Camarata, the SingPins have done performances around campus, as well as other gigs.  While still connected with the Glee club, the group has slowly been gaining a name for themselves.

Ryan Snyder, Joe Kruger and Bryce Cox led an energetic rendition of “Don’t Worry be Happy,” in the Maucker Union. The group members filled in the songs with accompanying background singing, whistling and beatboxing.

Practices are led up by Lubaroff and assisted by Roskens.

“I’m starting to take over the reins,” Roskens said.

Lubaroff will be graduating next semester, with Roskens taking his place.  The group practices two days a week for an hour, and they split into sectionals, or different groups.  Roskens takes the upper voices, and Lubaroff the lower in order to individually work on their pitches.

“I think part of the appeal and charm of a cappella music is that you can just take it wherever,” Lubaroff said.

The SingPins will be doing their first solo Christmas show, dubbed Winter Extravaganza.  This free event will take place on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. in Lang Auditorium.

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