The Lemkeys – Benedictine’s a cappella group

The Lemkeys 2017. Photo by Andrew Seaton.

By Grace King, The Circuit.

Under the direction of Sean Teets, Benedictine College’s former director of choral activities, the Lemkeys, an a cappella group, was born and named after Fr. Henry Lemke.

The Lemkeys have had many head directors over the past three years. Currently, the head director is senior Hunter Eisenmenger and the creative director is senior Catherine Kluempers.

The difference between regular singing groups and a cappella singing groups is the lack of instruments included in performances.

Freshman member Daniel St. Hilaire comments on the group’s sound.

“Just the way our voices blend—it’s an amazing sound when you get it right, but it takes work,” he said.

Eisenmenger expands more on the group’s sound.

“I love that we get to imagine new ways in which to recreate top songs with our voices,” Eisenmenger said. “There are a lot of trial and error, experimental rehearsals where our group spends time trying to create the perfect sound for every song. This year’s group is full of extremely talented musicians who know what to do to get the best audience response. So, I guess my favorite thing about our sound is that it is cultivated, intentional, united and chill-inducing!”

The Lemkeys’ third concert was highly anticipated by members of the student body.

I was excited for this concert—it was a great break from homework and a fantastic way to start the weekend, said sophomore Abbie Beauregard.

Eisenmenger compares their second concert with their recent third concert.

“Our first major concert was awesome, but this year we have taken things to a whole new level,” Eisenmenger said. “Compared to last year’s concert, there was more dancing, lights, wardrobe, sets, raffles and much more. We had worked harder than any year before on this show. This year’s members are incredible.”

St. Hilaire adds more about the differences between the two concerts.

“It’s completely a cappella, so everything is done with the voice including the instrumental parts,” he said. It’s not like the classic barbershop style though. Think Pentatonix or Straight No Chaser. We also [had] some dancing thrown in.”

The group consists of 13 members total – six men and seven women – with a mix of new and returning members.

There is a range of students in different grades that make up the a cappella group

“We have a member from almost every class—minus sophomore,” Eisenmenger said.

This is St. Hilaire’s first year in the group.

Before our concert this year, the group has only appeared as guest singers [our third concert] was the one that we had been preparing for since September, he said.

“I love singing, so any chance I get, it’s great,” St. Hilaire said. “I’m especially fond of a cappella. I just love the sound of all the voices blending together. The friends I’ve made doing it are also amazing. It’s a great group to be apart of. We’re more like a family.”

Eisenmenger shares his favorite part about being part of the group.

“I never imagined how fun it would be to create music that puts a spin on music we all know and love,” Eisenmenger said. “Working with other talented students at BC has been such an honor and a privilege. The journey toward our big concert [was] long, but my fondest memories on campus are singing with this group and performing some outstanding material for the students at Benedictine College.”