Love a cappella? Check out Varsity Vocals

In the last decade, the art of a cappella has reached new heights in pop culture thanks to TV shows like “Glee” and “The Sing Off,” as well as the “Pitch Perfect” films. I was first exposed to a cappella thanks to the amazing and informative 90s game show, “Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?”

Well, and Boyz II Men, obviously. And in high school, I loved watching our MasterSingers and Madrigals perform.

Then, at Michigan State, I remember when the Spartan Dischords visited the sixth floor of Holmes Hall my freshman year and sang us a song in the hallway. My friends and I followed their roaming concert down each floor until they did a final performance in the lobby.

Another group at MSU, Capital Green, holds a special place in my heart. My sister-in-law, Lynn, was a member when she was at MSU; she and the group performed a song at my brother and Lynn’s wedding in 2012, and she also arranged a performance with the group at our baby shower for Stella in 2013. I have other friends who were members of Capital Green, including my friend Andrea Poole.

Andrea is an incredible singer (she sang Martina McBride’s “Independence Day” for karaoke on Mackinac Island and I’m still shook) and self-proclaimed lover of “organized nerd singing.” She walks the walk as well as sings the song, so to speak, thanks to her involvement with Varsity Vocals. Continue reading “Love a cappella? Check out Varsity Vocals”

My top five Tom Petty songs

This morning I was thinking about how it had been a few days since I wrote a blog post, but after the news out of Las Vegas, I couldn’t justify writing about anything.

But then I heard about Tom Petty being rushed to the hospital, and subsequently passing away, and immediately I wanted to listen to his music and cry. The numbness I felt this morning about Las Vegas is now coming out in utter sadness.

When I’m sad, or happy, or wanting to celebrate, or wanting to relax, or wanting to¬†feel something, I listen to music. And to lose a musician adds this bittersweet layer to their songs.

Tom Petty’s music was for hanging out, for driving, for singing along. It reminds me of growing up watching his whacked out videos on MTV and makes me think of my aunt Mary. He’s a musical artist I always had hoped to see, but never had the chance.

Here are my top five favorite Tom Petty songs. Whether they made me laugh, sing at the top of my lungs, or cry, they made me feel something.

And an honorable mention for the holidays… one of our guilty pleasure Christmas favorites: