Students, parents, faculty and community members alike gathered on April 27 and 30 in Ness Auditorium for an evening of a cappella delight from Wittenberg University’s all-men’s a cappella group, Wittmen Crew. The Crew performed wonderful arrangements of songs that ranged from old to new: from current hits to classic rock to sacred hymns. The Crew, like any other student group on campus, gets new members with each year, prompting an audition, and it loses members with each graduation season.
The Crew’s origin dates back to the 1999 Wittenberg Choir tour, when four choir members pondered over their mutual desire to spread music in the community and on campus. After branching out to other choir members, the group was established, and has been a hit ever since — performing at a number of venues on and off campus for Wittenberg events and at local churches and festivals, for pay and for charity, across Ohio and even out of state for running on 15 years.
Wednesday and Saturday, the Crew performed its annual Spring Show, which, as per tradition, features the graduating seniors and other Crew members; in addition, this show included a Crew-directed video. Hoggatt and Mullins 360 was the title of a newscast-based skit focusing on political figures, starring several members of the Crew poking fun at matters like WittGold and other Wittenberg-related things in similar words to those actually stated in the 2016 debate. The short film was followed by a set list that included arrangements of Billy Joel’s “For the Longest Time,” “This Boy,” Weezer’s “Say it Ain’t So,” top hit “One Call Away” by Charlie Puth, a barbershop rendition of “Old Irish Blessing,” “Can’t Hurry Love,” “August,” TLC’s “Waterfalls,” “With a Little Help From My Friends” by the Beatles, and “Colors of the Wind” from Disney’s “Pocahontas.” This collection of tunes was followed by the traditional tunes “Africa” and “Me and the Boys,” and the concert was then concluded with “I Want You to Want Me” in the form of an audience-prompted encore. The Crew is very active in other aspects of campus life, and spread its musical talent and bright smiles far and wide daily.
Freshman Seamus Dunphy, featured in the Crew’s performance of “August,” stated that the first word that comes to his mind when he thinks about the Wittmen Crew is “family” — “we are a crazy, fun, passionate group of talented men who just love to sing.” Dunphy went on to say that he personally feels that he and the group have grown tremendously this year, musically and on many other levels. As a freshman, Dunphy stated that the upperclassmen all “made a huge effort to make everyone feel welcomed into the group,” and feels his first year involved with the Wittmen Crew goes down as something incredible; the friendships he’s made so far are priceless, and memories made with the men involved are countless. Dunphy looks forward to the coming years, and can’t wait to see what is in store for him and the group.
Treasurer Doyle and the Crew welcome anyone who holds leadership qualities, is passionate about music, and has musical skill — a fine singing voice and the ability to blend well into in the ensemble musically and socially. Doyle feels that the Crew is the most enjoyable aspect of his college experience.
“Not only do we create awesome music, but we have also cultivated enduring relationships between our members,” Doyle said. “We are the quintessential brotherhood — or, as we say, Brothers in Music.”