Students Raise their Voices with MC’s New Group: ManhaTones

Students raise their voices in new acapella group. Photos by James O'Connor
Students raise their voices in new acapella group. Photos by James O’Connor
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Andy Bauer directs the group during rehearsal. Photo by James O’Connor

Performing arts student have another chance to showcase their talents with the new a cappella ensemble: ManhaTones. ManhaTones formed as a student run group in the spring semester of 2013 according to Andy Bauer who is the director of music and coordinator for performing arts at Manhattan College.

“[ManhaTones] is a completely student generated group, and now that they are 25 members strong they have qualified as a full-fledged club under Student Activities,” Bauer said. The group, run by a board of student officers, asked Bauer to be their director and he helps them learn their parts, as well as assisting them with their singing and conducting.

As director of the music and performing arts departments, Bauer runs the Manhattan College Singers, the orchestra, jazz band, pep band, Manhattan College Players, and music ministry. However, he feels that ManhaTones has an important and unique place in the performing arts at MC.

“It adds another venue for people to explore their vocal talents, and it does so in a way that exclusively highlights the voice,” he said.

The group is not the first a cappella group in MC’s history.

“We had an a cappella group before and it just kind of disappeared with the transition of directors,” senior member of ManhTones, Katelyn Connor said. Connor was a leader in reforming the group and making it into the success that it has found itself to be.

“Katelyn is the main instigator, she started the whole thing. And she has an infectious enthusiasm that we all got on her ship,” Bauer said. Connor was the leader for the group as it was forming and growing, but has since passed the leadership on to a new board of students as she prepares to graduate.

The members of ManhaTones have high hopes for its future and what their group can accomplish. “There is a lot of talent in our group and I am excited for where we are going,” Freshman member, Matthew LeBoeuf, said.

For the future, Connor hopes that the group can find similar success to that of the Manhattan College Singers. For now, ManhaTones hopes to grow and improve.

“Because we are not a performing arts school, [and] we don’t have a major or a concentration, its nice to have people who will do this on their own time,” Connor said.

Connor added that the group is very welcoming and the auditioning is not overly competitive.

“Literally anyone who wants to come is more than welcome to, they will have a short audition just so we know they can open their mouths and sing,” she said.

ManhaTones performed in the Christmas concert and plans to perform again in the spring concert. In the meantime they will make the trip with Singers to Florida and Disney World later this month.