Melodious Thunk finds success on spring tour in London

Adam Ptashkin

Forget about the British invasion. Northwestern’s a cappella group Melodious Thunk took its American sound to London over Spring Break.

Formed in 1992, the group tours every other year, usually taking a Spring Break trip to East Coast colleges. This year, 14 members introduced English audiences to one of NU’s most popular singing styles and toured the country.

“Everyone had an incredible time between the singing and sights,” said Lauren Stern, a Weinberg sophomore. For the singers, seeing the Queen Mother at Buckingham Palace was a highlight of the trip, as were visits to Westminster Abbey, the National Theatre and the National Gallery of Art.

A variety of venues hosted Melodious Thunk during the week. Performances included concerts at St. James British Festival Church in Waterloo, the Highgate School for Boys and the restaurant Shoeless Joe’s Temple. The group also performed outdoor shows at the the Camden Lock Market, the Covent Garden Place Pavilion and Leicester Square.

The consensus among the NU students was that the performance at the Leicester Square was the greatest success.

“It was kind of an impromptu performance in front of 300 people … and the audience was really responding,” said Cory Streit, a Music junior.

In Leicester Square, “people liked what they saw,” said Willis White, a Weinberg senior and director of the group. “It was a real high-energy show.”

Performing a variety of songs, from “Still” by Macy Gray to Madonna’s “Like a Prayer,” the NU singers were rewarded with enthusiastic applause from British audiences – especially during the work of British musical icons. The Beatles’ song “Come Together,” No Doubt’s “Spiderwebs” and “Boys of Summer” were added to the group’s regular repertoire in preparation for their spring show, “A Cappella Rock Stars,” April 26 to 28 in Shanley Pavilion.

To raise funds for the trip, the group performed at Pete Miller’s Steak House, for The Women’s Board of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago and for the Northwestern Alumni Association. An auction to win a dinner date with members of the group, along with sales of their CD, “Ye Olde Thunke CDe,” also defrayed the costs.