Student and alumni artists take the stage at the Evening of Distinction

a cappella group joins alumni soloists to celebrate the class of 1972

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Photo courtesy of Allison Mintz '23 | Noteworthy A Cappella at the Evening of Distinction

Alumni Weekend caught the attention of many who call Muhlenberg their alma mater, including some of the class of 1972, who were celebrating their fifty-year graduation class reunion. Members of the class, along with other invitees from the faculty board, were invited to participate in An Evening of Distinction, which took place in the Baker Center for the Arts on Friday, Sept. 23. There, presenters celebrated the academic achievements of Muhlenberg students and faculty since the COVID-19 lockdown.

The program in Empie Theatre, which lasted from 8-9 p.m., ushered in a packed house. The content included college-produced videos of students and staff reporting their academic achievements and successes from quarantine. This section was open to all alumni, and a link to watch the livestream was broadcast to the full alumni network.

“It just felt normal that I was there and my fellow group members seemed to agree. It’s never too late to come back and sing again.”

-Jake Watzman ’22

Alumni performers, such as Evan Plaza ‘19 and Grace Oddo ‘22, showcased the success of the arts at Muhlenberg, and crowned the presentation with a number of solo and duet selections from the musical theater canon, which paid homage to the development and progress of the community as the world opens up, including “A Change in Me” from “Beauty and the Beast,” which was performed by Oddo and Plaza.

“It was so awesome to be able to come back and perform at the Evening of Distinction,” said Oddo. “All the alumni and folks who were there seemed really receptive to our performance, and we had people coming up to us saying the sweetest things.”

Alongside the alumni soloists, Noteworthy, Muhlenberg’s Broadway-based a cappella group, was asked to perform a rendition of “I Can See Clearly Now,” accompanied by chapel organist Drew Lutz-Long on piano and Sam Kaplan ‘23 on percussion. The arrangement, which parted ways from its initial Caribbean pop-rock tempo, was hopeful and uplifting, and had the audience clapping along to the recognizable ‘70s tune.

The group had the opportunity to rehearse with Lutz-Long at rehearsal prior to the event, which added to the excitement of singing instrumentally accompanied music, something the group wasn’t used to.

“I had a ton of fun performing at the event this weekend,” said Julian Goldman-Brown ‘23, the group’s beatboxer. “It was a fun change of pace to do a choral arrangement instead of a capella.”

“All the alumni and folks who were there seemed really receptive to our performance, and we had people coming up to us saying the sweetest things.”

-Grace Oddo ’22

In addition, the gala also brought back a cappella alumni members, who had the opportunity to join the current roster on this unique occasion, as well as various other music performances throughout the duration of the weekend. Noteworthy also had the opportunity to perform at the Homecoming Fair on Saturday at 3 p.m., and will be performing at various other weekend gigs over the course of the semester. 

“Being back with Noteworthy for the alumni performance felt like I was just continuing where I left off,” said Jake Watzman ‘22, who visited campus during Alumni Weekend. “It just felt normal that I was there and my fellow group members seemed to agree. It’s never too late to come back and sing again.”

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