I’m a huge fan of student performance groups. Going to see my peers create amazing music and theatre is one of the coolest things about being at the University of Michigan. With so much talent on campus and so many types of performance to watch, it’s hard to pick a favorite. However, if you asked me for recommendations for what concert you should attend at this vast university, I would definitely have to point you to The Friars.
The Friars have always been fun to watch. I’ve attended their concerts from my first year, watching the group evolve and change with graduating seniors and incoming members. 9 men, 4 vocal parts, and lots of a capella arrangements. Their annual “Study Break” concerts live up to their name: by combining phenomenal music, silly choreography, humor, and showcasing each Friar’s personality, their concerts are entertaining from start to finish.
The Friars pulled out some challenging arrangements for this concert. One mash-up of “Virtual Insanity” and “Stayin’ Alive,” arranged by Friar junior Brenton Svacha, filled the auditorium with energy. I also enjoyed their throwback music, including a rendition of The Bonneville’s “Zu Zu” from the era when the Friars were founded. My personal favorite was an arrangement of Jesse McCartney’s “Beautiful Soul,” with a fantastic solo from tenor 1 Carter Krumins and an all-Friar improvised dance section during the choruses.
Another amazing aspect I’m always warmed by is the student support at these performances. At Friars concerts, the Men’s Glee Club members sit in the lower right hand corner of Rackham Auditorium and cheer for their peers. It’s such a wonderful thing to see the encouraging, music-inspired camaraderie both on stage and in the audience.
It was a joy to watch The Friars perform again on stage. I’m looking forward to the next time I hear their incredible a capella in concert!