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Crooning in the Coates Center
Trinity a cappella Group Serenades the Campus with Weekly Performances

By Russell Guerrero ’83

The Trinitones, Trinity's all male a cappella group, take a bow in the Coates Center after their final performance for the spring semester.
Now you can hear Trinity latest singing sensations for yourself. Hear them perform some of their favorite songs.

Just a few minutes past noon on Fridays during the school year, a crowd would begin to gather in front of the Coates University Center information desk. As they waited, and as more people arrived, conversations would range from a recap of the school week to plans for the weekend. Then at 12:20 p.m. the conversations would give way to applause as a group of male students stepped forward to the delight of everyone present.

The students were members of the Trinitones – a collection of eight a cappella singers – who would begin “Happy Friday,” their name for an informal weekly concert they gave between classes.

According Adam Cason, a baritone who will be a senior in the fall (as well as the new president of the Association of Student Representatives), the Trinitones started several years ago as a quartet interested in a cappella music.  “They transitioned through a number of different members and names before ultimately deciding on The Trinitones in 2005, which was my first year as a member of the group,” said Adam.

Other members of the 2007-08 edition of The Trinitones included seniors Matt Rullo (bass) and Joel Cook (baritone); juniors Mark McCarver (tenor) and Brett Shaw (tenor); sophomores David Short (tenor/beat box) and Colin Frazier (bass); and first-year Chris Gunadi (tenor).

Although the Trinitones had performed at different campus events, including the annual Trinity Spotlight showcase, this is the first year the singing group performed in the Coates Center. 

The idea for the songfest began on a lark. After performing at President John R. Brazil’s home last fall, the Trinitones went to the Coates Center with a few minutes to spare before their next classes and decided to check the acoustics of the lobby.  “After finding ourselves collecting an audience, we decided to make it a weekly occurrence,” said Adam.

The group soon developed a following for their Friday impromptu concerts, which usually consisted of about four to five songs.  They chose the unusual performance start time in order to reach the many people who pass through the Coates Center at one of the busiest times of the day.

Part of the Trinitone’s fun factor had to do with the variety of the music they sang.  They might perform the ’70s classic pop tune “Kung Fu Fighting,” or they might launch into “Starlight” by the English rock group Muse. There would also be a good chance they would croon “That Thing You Do,” the title song of the Tom Hanks film – and a Coates audience favorite – before the singers took their bows and left for class.

 “We practiced once a week for one hour, with one quick run-through on Thursday night,” said Adam. “One of the best benefits of the Happy Friday performances was that the audience really gave us the motivation to learn new music and keep things fresh and exciting.  Knowing that we had an audience waiting to hear what's coming on Friday really heightened the excitement and motivated us.”

Even though the 2007-08 school year is over and two members have graduated, Adam promises that the Trinitones will return. “We will be back in Fall 2008 and Happy Fridays will continue!  We will be holding open auditions at the very beginning of the fall semester in order to keep us at eight members.”

© 2008 Trinity University

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