By Rosemary Leger – Managing Editor
The arts have a special way of bringing people together. Those who share a talent or a passion form bonds almost instantly, and this swift and strong relationship is apparent in the 13 members of Lasell’s acapella group, The Spartones.
In November 2013, junior J.R. Costello, a freshman at the time, saw a void in the community where an acapella group could exist. He assembled other vocally-gifted students, thus forming the club. In their short two and a half years of existence, The Spartones have performed in numerous venues on and off campus, and are now preparing for their first independent showcase, set for May 1 at 7:00 p.m. in de Witt Hall. This event was inspired by the end-of-year showcases by other clubs, like the dance and step teams. This showcase will feature a number of songs by the group, along with solos and smaller arrangements.
“To prove to ourselves that we really can, that we have built a strong enough repertoire and a strong enough bond to get up there in front of everybody and host something that is larger than ourselves,” said Costello.
Senior Amanda Bui is the music manager for The Spartones. She was a founding member of the club, who was disappointed with the lack of such when she first came to Lasell in 2012. When word spread that Costello was building this group, Bui set out to join him.
“I’ve always been musical,” said Bui, who sang in her high school’s select ensemble. “I am sort of bad at branching out, so I have always done that through music; making new friends and meeting people through music.”
“[Singing is] a stress reliever, a way for me to express my creativity,” said Costello, ongoing President of the club. He cites his proudest achievement in his years of leadership as The Spartones’ collaboration with the Pulse Dance Team.
Premiering last April at the dance team’s showcase, the two clubs came together for the sake of creative expression by utilizing their respective talents to perform “Run to You,” a song by popular acapella group, Pentatonix. The production oozed emotion, and was performed once again this past fall semester during the Family, Friends and Alumni Weekend Student Performance Showcase. The clubs returned with another powerful piece this year, an arrangement of Sia’s “Chandelier.”
“This was the biggest feat for us,” said Costello. “[This was] the way for us to say ‘we’re here, we’re ready to stand out and do something different.’ That was a big moment for us to step out and be heard, be seen, and be known as a presence on campus.”
This year, The Spartones have taken their biggest strides. They have been recognized by key members of the Lasell community who they never believed to have the small acapella group on their radar.
The Spartones were invited to meet with members of Lasell’s Board of Trustees. They began by singing for them, but transitioned the meeting into a singing lesson, where the trustees learned the different sections of a song, and then sang with them. This was an integral part for both parties to understand how each other operate and learn.
Members of The Spartones are impressed with their own success, and only expect further growth. Their sense of family is what keeps the team cohesive and productive.
“[The team has] created this family that I wasn’t expecting and even in our first semester we created this family that continues, even as people leave,” said Bui. Bui will graduate in May and is optimistic about the acapella family she will be leaving behind. “It’s just the saddest thing, but it is also really exciting to see where they’re going to go from here.”