When the name “barbershop quartet” is said, what first comes to mind? Top hats and striped getups, perhaps some stylish suspenders?
What about dresses and heels?
A Cappella has begun to pick up momentum in recent years, due largely to the popular film, Pitch Perfect, that depicts a group of highly talented women with enormous voices (“Aca-scuse me?”). However, its roots – both here at the Colorado School of Mines and abroad – are a bit more humble.
The Sweet Adelines, a group of musical women who came together in the wake of World War II in Tulsa, Oklahoma, continue today to promote the teaching of music and singing to young women. Their counterparts, the Barbershop Harmony Society, strives for the same goals with young men.
While the Sweet Adelines went international in the 1950s, and encompass a very wide and diverse community of women worldwide, they still remain largely here in the United States. In fact, a small branch of this group has a voice here on our very own campus.
The Melodic Miners were founded over ten years ago by choir director Robert Klimek. In their time here, they have remained true to the roots of the Sweet Adelines movement, their most well-known cover being “Lollipop” by Julius Dixson and Beverly Ross.
“We love newer music,” Melodic Miners’ president Nichole Pisierra said. “But for us, the classic music is so much more meaningful.”
The Melodic Miners truly strive for the closeness that the original Sweet Adelines possessed, and Pisierra compares her own ensemble to that of a sports team.
“I want that same tight-knit feeling that they had,” she said. “That’s what their music was all about.”
A round of auditions on September 2nd brought new blood to the group of twelve girls, and their president could not be prouder of the variety and skill of her club.
“Everyone was so talented,” she said. “Every single one of them will fit in so well with us.”