It is well known that the Limestones, St. Olaf’s premier male a cappella group, are all about making music. The group, however, is showing a penchant for taking their love of music to the next level: sharing their skills and talents with a wider audience than ever before.
On Sept. 28, the Limestones will play a major role in the “Real Men Sing” festival,
a one-day workshop at Bethel University for junior high and high school-aged males. The Limestones will serve as guest artists at the festival, leading workshops and performing for the young men in attendance.
As noted in the event’s promotional information, the festival is designed to counter many of the negative attitudes that surround young men in the arts, aiming “to encourage young men to participate in choir, provide motivation to stay involved in choir throughout their school career and provide male singing role models.” During their half-hour workshops with program participants, the Limestones will highlight how easy it is to arrange and learn music. They will also teach part of a song along the way. Through it all, the group’s lively vibe will show these young men how fun the experience of creating music can be.
The Limestones are excited to work with a younger group and to increase interest in local a cappella musicians.
“We’re honored,” said Matthew Hoffman ’14, one of the group’s members. “It’s great that the leaders of this festival thought we could help promote singing as a fun and worthwhile hobby.”
The honor is just the start of an especially dynamic year for the group, who held their fall concert this past Friday, Sept. 20.
On that night, the Pause quickly filled with fans from all class years, standing and cheering in anticipation. The lights dimmed, and the Limestones rushed out, each carrying a microphone and sporting a black St. Olaf jersey. From there, the night was filled with humor, a beatboxing competition and, of course, great a cappella music.
The group sang a total of 16 songs, featuring both old and new arrangements. Crowd favorites included Bruno Mars’ “Treasure,” Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” and Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me.” Fans got a final surprise when the Limestones reworked their traditional finale, “Malt-O-Meal,” in the styles of the St. Olaf fight song, Katy Perry and A$AP Rocky. The most touching moment of the night came when the group dedicated DC Talk’s “In the Light” to Associate College Pastor Jennifer Koenig, who passed away the morning of the concert.
The Limestones recently selected two new members, Greg Martin ’15 and Charlie Baird ’16, and welcomed Isaac Sorenson ’14 back from a year abroad. The singers join existing members Hoffman, Evan Quinnell ’14, Brandon Berger ’15 and Kaya Petersen ’15.
Already this fall, the Limestones have performed at Boxelder Bug Days, a local festival in Minneota, Minn., and are busy packing their calendar with additional events for the coming year. Generally, they sing at one or two off-campus events each month including weddings, school performances and local festivals.
The group has three concerts a year on campus: one in the fall, one around Christmas time and another in the spring. In addition, the group also plans to collaborate with Agnes A Cappella and several Carleton a cappella groups at The Paradise Center for the Arts in Fairbault later this spring.
The Limestones recorded and released their latest CD, entitled Down to Earth, last spring. It can be purchased at their concerts, on iTunes or through their website www.thelimestones.com.