Saturday, June 22, 2024

PSUC a cappella group prepares for tomorrow’s invitational

In the Myers Fine Arts Building at Plattsburgh State, singers from Minor Adjustments, PSUC’s student-run a cappella group, prepared for their annual spring invitational, scheduled for tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the Strand Center for the Arts in downtown Plattsburgh.

Ticket sales, raffle baskets from local businesses and all other proceeds will go to fund the Strand.

“We want to raise as much money as possible,” said Kerri Gleeson, junior broadcast journalism major and musical director.

Four sopranos, five altos, four tenors and three bases will comprise the invitational group, with singers dressed in shades of gold, black and white.

Minor Adjustments will perform with a few other clubs and organizations, such as PSUC’s Hoop Troop, the Uke-a-dooks and the Cumberland Bay Barbershop Chorus, the local Plattsburgh chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society.

Last year, former adviser Taeko Kelly changed the location of the club’s invitational from Glitz Auditorium to the Strand. Since then, Gleeson said members have enjoyed their performances downtown more rather than on campus.

“The microphone work was amazing,” Gleeson said, explaining how the group isn’t always properly mic-ed in other venues. “We had onstage microphones, but then we also had microphones for the soloists.”

Senior audio-radio production major and bass Jason Halpern agreed with the quality of the Strand’s venue services, speaking from his experience as a sound engineer for a summer job.

“It feels like such a serious and professional environment,” Halpern said.

Halpern has sung in four invitationals with Minor Adjustments since the first semester of his freshman year.

“I’ve been through all of it,” Halpern said. “It’s weird to think that after this semester, I won’t be [in] Minor Adjustments. This group has always had a lot of really fun music.”

One of Halpern’s favorite pieces is this year’s senior song, “Holding Out for a Hero” from the 1998 musical “Footloose,” during which alumni of the group are invited to come back onstage and perform the song with current members.

“I think it’s always fun to hang out with all the [graduates] that come back,” Halpern said. “That’s where a lot of my friends are.”

Gleeson also decided to push up the date of the invitational, formerly held in late April.

“The e-board and I decided it would be easier to [host] the invitational now because we have a lot of performances coming up,” Gleeson said, adding that the club will soon have a performance every weekend during the month of April.

Along with “Holding Out for a Hero,” the a cappella singers will also perform arrangements like “The Sound of Silence” by Disturbed, “Good Old Days” by Macklemore and Kesha, “Sunday Candy” by Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment and “This Is Me” from the 2017 movie “The Greatest Showman.”

Alto and environmental science major Emily Burke is excited to sing her solo in “Sunday Candy” in her first invitational with Minor Adjustments.

“I think [the song] has a special place in my heart,” Burke said. “I’ve been in choir my whole life, and it’s always been something I love. I’m sure one day I’ll still have a piece of music with me.”

As a freshman, Burke values the new friendships she’s forged with other students in the club.

“I love the relationships you make,” Burke said. “They’re all so different, fantastic and hilarious, and I love them all.”

A music major with a psychology minor, soprano and alto Lauren Mueller expressed fondness for being part of a club with people who love making music as much as she does.

“You’re surrounded by not just musicians, but also friends,” Mueller said. “So you just share what you love to do with a whole bunch of friends and enjoy everyone’s voices.”

Graduating this spring, Halpern knows he will miss Minor Adjustments, remembering how he met his freshman-year girlfriend in the club and her support of his performances to this day.

“Minor Adjustments has just been my thing,” Halpern said. “A Tuesday or Thursday just won’t feel right without it.”

Email Emma Vallelunga at

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