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The Greyhound

New voices shine for Belles; senior Chimes don’t disappoint


I attended the Saturday night Chordbusters  show, which kicked off as usual with a skit from each of the groups: first The Chimes, then The Belles. I have to admit, I don’t always find the skits funny, but both were homeruns this year. The Chimes riffed on “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” as the “Curley-Sandroni” family frantically searched for their Den-Den.

The Belles sang for their skit a Loyola-specific rendition of the “Twelve Days of Christmas,” replacing the traditional list of gifts with things like Loyola’s prevalence of Lululemon leggings, Hound Net never loading and Father Linnane (who amusedly watched from the audience.)

Photo courtesy of Hanna Zirinsky


The Chimes sang the first set, kicked off by Vice President Jimmy Coughlin’s solo of ’90s hit “Absolutely (Story of a Girl)” by Nine Days. Other highlights included Mike Ramirez’s country baritone on Josh Turner’s “Your Man”; Andrew Gorbaty’s energetic “Wake Me up Before You Go Go” by Wham!; a mashup of The Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker” and Shaggy’s “Angel” featuring Matt Curley, Coughlin and Nick Hylind; Ryan O’Leary crooning Boyz II Men’s “So Hard to Say Goodbye”; and the Chimes’ encore, Justin Timberlake’s “Pusher Love Girl” led by Curley.

As a veteran attendee, I have to take my hat off to seniors Curley and Oscar Cisternas, who have improved immensely over the past few years; each sounded excellent in their final fall show. Also noteworthy are new members Hylind, whose harmonizing was some of the best of the night, and O’Leary, who, in his first ever show led two songs, and is bound to become a serious Chimes star (that is, if he isn’t one already.) The biggest disappointment of the night? We all wanted a little more Seth Willis—here’s hoping for some more of his trademark soulful solos in the spring.

Without an intermission, The Belles took the stage next, wowing the audience with their first song, a standout of the night, The Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun” led by newcomer Jessica Grasso. With seven out of the fifteen Belles being new members, I was anxious to see how they’d all sound together in their first full show, but they sounded better than ever. Favorites from their set included TLC’s “No Scrubs” led by Grace Poppy Charlton; Meghan Trainor’s “Dear Future Husband” carried by Bryanna Maher; Connor Sheehan’s rendition of “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran; Beyonce’s “I Was Here” with a solo from Jamie Tofano; and their fun encore, a Sam Smith mashup of “La La La” and “Latch,” led by both Jehan Slavin and Caroline Barry.

The newest additions to The Belles jumped right into their new roles and delivered songs with serious star power—kudos in particular to Tofano, who seemed like a star in her own right during her solo—but The Belles as a group have benefitted from the new supply of serious talent. I’m sad that, as a senior, it was the last time I’ll get to see Lindsey Bemis, Sheehan and Slavin, as all three girls will be abroad next semester; we’ll miss them and their beautiful voices. Soon thereafter, it’ll be an even sadder goodbye, as Maggie Kycia, Charlton and Barry (the latter two president and vice president, respectively) will perform their final show in the spring. This penultimate performance makes it all the more difficult to say goodbye, given their funny stage antics and, of course, sheer talent.

The two groups rounded off the night together with a cheery Christmas carol, White Christmas, followed by a hearty round of applause and a standing ovation from the crowd. Like I said, this year did not disappoint. Here’s hoping the spring show will be just as good; based on Saturday’s performance, I have a funny feeling it will be. Don’t forget, tickets to see Loyola’s singing superstars go like hotcakes — you may want to get in line… now.

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New voices shine for Belles; senior Chimes don’t disappoint