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Blue Notes shine in CUNY-wide, year-end showcase


The Blue Notes held their Spring 2019 Showcase in Baruch College’s Engelman Recital Hall on May 7, which featured Mass Transit, Hawkappella and Macaulay Triplets.

This year’s theme was “A Journey of Stars” and there were 14 performances by the Blue Notes, which also included solos from the group’s members.

The Blue Notes, Baruch’s acapella group, started off the show with “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen and featured soloists Ben Klein and Ariana Sher.

The following performances ranged from gospel to the latest songs by Meghan Trainor and John Legend. There were also arrangements made by three members, and the music director chose the song selection.

The group ended the first half of their performance with Destiny’s Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills,” which featured the soloists, Rebecca Dhala, Gabriella Kalil and Joy Ling, who is the president and musical director of Blue Notes.

The second half featured the Blue Notes solos, which ranged from Ed Sheeran to Beyonce and even Bollywood.

Dhala, vice president of Blue Notes sang a solo mash up of “Scars to Your Beautiful” from Alessia Cara with Bollywood song “Tu Naa Jaane Aas Paas Hai Khuda” by
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan to illustrate how two cultures and languages can blen together for creative music.

“The song talks about how you don’t know it but God is all around you, so I feel like it was a similar message: have confidence, basically,” said Dhala. “Through my journey at Baruch, I’ve grown so much and through that growth, I learned to be confident, not only in myself but in the things I do.”

Among the Blue Notes solos, there were only two songs that were performed in a different language; the first one was “A Faraway Song” by Xijun Liu and the mash up by Dhala. 

Both performances celebrated diversity and how music can touch one’s heart no matter what language it was sung in. 

After the solos, the club honored the graduating seniors who have been a part of the family by
giving out stars to each graduating member to go along with the theme.

Hawkappella from Hunter College performed “Colors of the Wind” by Judy Kuhn and “New Rules” by Dua Lipa. “It is good timing because our concert is next week so it’s just doubling up on rehearsals” said “Colors of Wind” soloist Liezel Gamboa. 

“I am super stoked, everything went really well. Just want to thank the Blue Notes for inviting us over and we love performing with them.”

The Macaulay Triplets took over after Hawkappella, with “Dog Days are Over” by the band Florence and the Machine and “Lose My Cool” by Amber Mark. 

Devashish Basnet from Hunter, who is a part of the Macaulay Triplets, said he is really sad to see the seniors from the group leaving. 

He expressed how one voice matters so much in terms of acapella, because there is no other music accompaniment. 

“It’s a lot of individual and independence like you have to hold yourself accountable when you are rehearsing with the music,” said Basnet. “Otherwise you’ll be letting down the whole group. It really is a team effort.”

Allyson Golden, who is also a part of the Macaulay Triplets but attends John Jay College, pointed out how communication or just meeting up for rehearsals is difficult because everyone goes to a different college. 

“All of us goes to different CUNY schools, so we are not at the same school on the same campus, so it takes a lot of dedication and coordination on the part of our leaders and on the part of us as members,” Golden said. “It takes a lot of time and commitment for us.”

“We’d just like to thank the Blue Notes for consistently being great partnership,” said Golden. “And a group that we can always rely on to have really fun collaborations with.”

Ling shared that she is satisfied with the turnout and overall experience this year. 

“We just try to have positive energy beforehand and into the performances so hopefully the audience reciprocates,” said Ling. “We just hope that we can continue spreading music on campus and having more opportunities and more growth and that our current members feel that they can
really grow as leaders and musicians in the group.” 

Finance major and freshman Jerry Wang who was in the audience shared his thoughts about the showcase. 

He said he believed that showcasing not just Baruch but other acapella groups from different schools was “very nice, deliberate exposure” for the Baruch community, since it is a business school.  

“In terms of actual quality of the music arrangement, I was pretty impressed because a lot of songs were arranged by each individual student, that was really cool and I didn’t expect that out of a business school,” said Wang. 

“I hope that in the long run, the arts at Baruch can shine and gain more luminosity and attraction from students. I wish people can gain a different appreciation
for the arts.”

Senior Laina Tzanides who is graduating soon shared her thoughts on her last showcase.

“It’s a bittersweet moment. I am feeling relieved that the show went as well as it did but at the same time, it’s sad to realize that this is the last performance I’ll be a part of at this particular theater with these particular people,” said Tzanides. 

“It’s sad to say goodbye, but I am thoroughly blessed to be a part of it.”

Editor’s Note: Members of Blue Notes Joy Ling and Martin Hsu are The Ticker’s web editors.

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