Alumni and current students from the Elizabethtown College a cappella groups had the chance to raise their voices at the Sixth Annual Homecoming M.V.P. Spectacular. The show took place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15 in Leffler Chapel and Performance Center as part of the College’s Homecoming Weekend.
The show featured several songs from each of Etown’s three a cappella groups—Melica, Vocalign and Phalanx —and one song that all three groups sang together.
Sophomore Josh Fishman is a member of Vocalign. He said his favorite song to perform in the show is “Breakeven” by The Script, which Vocalign and sophomore soloist Genie Tucci performed in the second act.
“I’m looking forward to having my mom see the show,” Fishman said before the show. “She doesn’t get to see my music that often, so I’m glad she’s coming to see me.”
Vocalign used different visual and musical techniques during the show. During their first song, “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” by John Mayer, moving images of flames were shown on the stage’s backdrop.
The group’s rendition of “The Chain” by Ingrid Michaelson ended with sophomore soloists Jackie Schoelermann and Emily Derstine and senior soloist Ashley Doron singing the song’s chorus in a round.
Melica incorporated choreography into their performance of “Chains” by Nick Jonas. Throughout the song, the singers walked and danced around junior soloist Alivia Schaffer.
Junior Angela Wesneski and sophomore Liz Mazer both went to the M.V.P. show last year and enjoyed it so much that they decided to attend again this year. They both said that Melica was their favorite group of the night.
“I thought that [Melica] really stepped it up this year,” Wesneski said. “They were fantastic last year, but this year especially with the new choreography and new songs, the group was cohesive and a lot of fun.”
Mazer agreed, saying “[Melica] definitely came out really strong and ended really strong.”
Mazer’s favorite song of the evening was Melica’s performance of “I Choose You” by Sara Bareilles, which featured fifth-year student soloist Audrey Barrett and opened the show’s second act.
“[The song] had a lot of interesting and intricate sounds, and they hit them very consistently,” Mazer said.
Alumni from each a capella group introduced the current student performers. Each of the groups also invited any former members who were in the audience to join them onstage for one of their songs.
Vocalign alumni joined the current performers in singing “Take Me Away” by Fefe Dobson.
“Since I’m just a sophomore, I don’t really know that many alumni except the seniors from last year,” Fishman said. “Two of them are back, and I feel like I just saw them because they came back for [the Student Senate] Campaign. I don’t think it feels like much of a change.”
Alumni members of Melica sang along to “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by The Andrews Sisters and “Wings” by Little Mix, songs the group performs often.
“Having alumni come back is especially great for Melica,” sophomore Melica member Leanne Bahn said. “We always say that we’re a sisterhood, so it’s fun to have the other sisters come back. We look forward to seeing each other.”
Phalanx brought several of their alumni to the stage to sing “Brown Eyed Girl,” the group’s signature song. During the song, members of the audience clapped and sang along with junior soloist Brice Williams.
Other songs Phalanx performed included Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?,” which featured first-year Braden Stinar, and Boyz II Men’s “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,” which junior Gene Werley and senior Jacob Hopkins sang.
Bahn sang a duet with senior and fellow Melica member Bethany Wentling during the show’s finale, which featured all three of the groups singing “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World. Other soloists featured in the finale were junior Jordan Klase from Vocalign, senior Katy Griffith from Melica and senior Austin Hooper from Phalanx.
In addition to the performances themselves, one thing audience members enjoyed about the show was the camaraderie between the alumni and the current students.
“I loved all the alumni songs,” Wesneski said. “I loved seeing the bond that the current performers have with the alumni who already graduated. I think it’s so heartwarming and generally lovely to see.”