The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

The Belles and Chimes thrill audiences in fall 2019 Chordbusters


On Dec. 6 and 7, the Belles and the Chimes swooned audiences in the ever-popular Chordbusters concert in McManus Theatre. The all-female and all-male acapella groups put on their most energetic, charismatic, and all-around fun performance to-date. 

After some hilarious skits featuring kazoos, the Belles were up first. All but Rachel Ferrara ‘20 started in the aisles of the theater, while Ferrara stood back facing the audience and began with Christina Aguilera’s “Show Me How You Burlesque,” a show-stopping number that would go on to become their closer on the Saturday night performance. 

The fierce introduction set the tone for the night. Acapella concerts are known for their mashups, and the Belles didn’t disappoint, masterfully combining Rihanna’s “California King Bed” with Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry” in the bridge. Later, Sara Bareilles’ “Kaleidoscope Heart” and “Uncharted” marvelously meshed together, while Sam Smith’s early dance singles “La La La” and “Latch” combined all but stole the show. 

Moments of soul (Jackie Pineda’s “Bust Your Windows”) and high energy (Kendra Metcalfe’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman”) would define the engaging and buoyant energy of the night, all while still keeping the Belles’ signature theme of female empowerment intact. According to Elizabeth Ryan ‘20, “the energy was a lot higher this semester because we were more confident in our preparation for the songs. We knew what our songs meant, how to sing them, and how they were supposed to sound. So, the energy was better because we weren’t nervous about messing up.”  

Music director Ferrara agreed with that assessment, explaining that “the show is a lot more work than it looks.” On top of coordinating with the Fine Arts department and Events Services, “the cool thing about the Chimes and the Belles is we arrange all of our songs.” From song selection to lighting to choreography, “everything you see on stage is the brainchild of someone in the group.”

Indeed, it takes hard work to make a show so multifaceted look effortless. Julianna Capuano ‘22 said, “The songs with multiple soloists and arrangers could be really stressful at times because getting the blending of those songs to work took a lot longer than the songs with only one soloist.” After all the stress, the feeling of hearing it back the way they wanted “was so cool and was really rewarding after all the work we put into each one.” For Capuano, the group’s “dynamic being really organized and us knowing what we were doing at each rehearsal definitely helped us reach that point and allowed it to be fun at the same time.”

After such a rousing set, the Chimes refused to let the energy die, kicking their set off with a mashup of The Black-Eyed Peas’ “Let’s Get It Started” and the Backstreet Boys’ “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” and “Larger Than Life.” Without sliding into cliché gimmicks, the group proved they have enough natural charisma to pull off such audacious numbers. 

In another prime example, Thomas Borner du Cane ‘22 interrupted a Johnny Macleay ‘21 performance of “Runaround Sue” to perform an original rap tailored to Loyola audiences. It’s the kind of uniquely Chimes wink-and-nudge that had audiences totally buying in with laughs and smiles instead of scoffs. 

While the Chimes often look for the laugh or gag, the group can definitely still pull at the heartstrings. When Ben Grossman ‘23 performed Young the Giant’s “Cough Syrup,” audiences roared in applause by the time of the final key change. Later, Douglas Moreno ‘20 performed his final “senior song,” singing the rousing “For Good” from “Wicked” with Chris Pfeltz ‘20. 

Speaking of senior songs, co-presidents Pfeltz and Jason Marinelli ‘20 are not graduating yet, so they opted to celebrate in their penultimate performance together by singing OutKast’s “Hey Ya.” Sequenced right after Coldplay’s “Fix You,” the performance was stylized to make audiences expect another ballad, the Chimes harmonizing in a circle around the seniors before exploding in song. 

Pfeltz said, “I think the energy was the best it’s ever been, for the Chimes and for the Belles too. Everyone knew what they wanted to do with each song, they knew what we wanted to give our audience, and, since there’s such a sense of camaraderie in both groups – especially this year – we were excited to show that off as well.”  

Grossman felt that camaraderie as well: “They let me and the other first-years in with open arms and made all of us feel welcome, which really made the whole preparation process feel that much more special.” Grossman added, “the group’s connection and the emphasis on getting out of your comfort zone really help enhance our performances. Getting that feeling of camaraderie on stage really make the performances we participate in musically better due to the synergy the group has.” 

Chimes music director Brendan Sweeney ‘21 echoed Ferrara’s sentiments, saying, “It was definitely a lot of work. It’s not as easy as reading the music and singing it back, there’s so many different factors that need to be considered when teaching this many songs to this many people.” Overall, Sweeney was “proud” of the end result and “couldn’t have done it without every guy in the group doing their part. I think we gave the audience a great show and I’m looking forward to making more music next semester.” 

Feature Image: Courtesy of Jason Marinelli ’20.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

All The Greyhound Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • AnonymousDec 16, 2019 at 2:53 pm


Activate Search
The Belles and Chimes thrill audiences in fall 2019 Chordbusters