Singers positioned in a U-shape fill the room with round vowels and seamless harmonies. The passion for their cultures and love for music drive their powerful vocals, as they sing about romance and happiness.
The Treblemakers, Northwestern’s premier East Asian-interest a cappella group, will celebrate their 15th anniversary with a performance this weekend. The group is prepared to showcase its best numbers for both the general audience and Treblemakers alumni who are traveling back to Northwestern for the anniversary.
While the group normally holds two shows in one weekend, the two performances of “The Treble with Fame” have been split across two weekends in an effort to maximize the number of alumni who could attend, says Patricia Song, an alto singer. This Saturday will be the last time the 2018-2019 Treblemakers sing together in their own show.
The Treblemakers are practicing songs in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese, giving each other and East Asian audience members an opportunity to reconnect with their roots. With the group’s repertoire of 12 songs, including eight new arrangements, listeners will be introduced to new material performed by new soloists.
The shared East Asian identity sets the Treblemakers apart from most other a cappella groups on campus.
“[It] definitely shows through our song selection,” said Asuka Kosugi, an alto singer. “What’s special is that we have a lot of members who are international as well as Asian American, and each person can bring something from his or her own culture and we can appreciate that as a group.”
Since the beginning of Spring Quarter, the Treblemakers have rehearsed twice a week for two hours a night, memorizing all of the notes and dynamics needed to perfect their tones. The whole process of conducting and arranging music is student-led.
“My favorite song to hear us singing is ‘Yellow’ from Crazy Rich Asians, which is a song that I arranged for the group,” said third-year baritone veteran Jerry Lee. “That song is all about being proud of being Asian American.”
Aside from the music, Kosugi finds that the Treblemakers is a close-knit community that she loves spending time with.
“We have a group chat that’s active 24/7. There’s always something going on,” said Kosugi. “The members like to share a lot of things with each other that aren’t music. That’s what I love about the Treblemakers.”
“We’re practicing to perform,” said Chris Low, the musical director, during the second-to-last rehearsal.
“The Treble with Fame” is May 26 at 8 p.m. in the McCormick Foundation Center Forum Room.