If you visited The Underground last Thursday at around 8 p.m., then you would’ve heard the sweet voices of Carnegie Mellon’s award-winning co-ed a capella group, the Treblemakers. The group, known for their upbeat energy and energetic covers, hosted their very first members-focused cabaret, featuring music from various genres and an original song from music director Andrew Abrahamson, a senior music composition major. Abrahamson and tenor Connor Maggio, a junior mechanical engineering major, played accompaniment and guitar respectively, for several of the individual acts. Even though the cabaret was delayed (turns out rain and electronic mics do not mix well!), the Treblemakers did not disappoint. They showed off their individual skills, proving that they are each as talented as the group is all together.
The show opened with sophomore vocal performance major and assistant music director Krishna Raman and junior mechanical engineering and engineering and public policy major Elizabeth Elrod performing a cover of “You Don’t Do It for Me Anymore” by Demi Lovato. The duo’s voices blended wonderfully together, adding power and emotion. Raman’s smooth riffs and Elrod’s strong head voice combined to create tenderness within the song, showing the audience their vocal range.
Next up, with the entirety of the Treblemakers in attendance, was their high-spirited rendition of Duffy’s “Mercy.” President Julia Napolitano, a senior chemical and biomedical engineering major, shone as the song’s soloist, proving her chops as a talented soprano. The group was clearly having fun, a mood that transferred to the audience as they jived and danced with each other onstage. Complete with impressive beatboxing and a surprising rap, this cover showcased the Treblemakers’ abilities as performers.
First-year business major Amy Liu performed a solo cover of Begonia’s “Out of My Head.” Don’t be fooled by her new member status; Liu’s powerful voice and rich low notes gave her an air of professionalism and a tenderness to her cover. Performing with a similar sense of vocal style was mathematics junior and secretary Drew Moses with his cover of Scott Hoying’s cover of “At Last” by Etta James. His strong vibrato and fluid riffs displayed real confidence and style in this song.
The second duo of the evening was sopranos Taylor Kay Baer, a first-year vocal performance major, and Napolitano, with their rendition of Halsey’s “Sorry.” Their beautiful voices worked really well with each other as they switched between low and high harmonies, showing off their vocal versatility. It was soft, sweet, and filled with emotion.
Performing next was Vice President Ambika Chetal, a junior chemistry student, belting Beyoncé’s “If I Were a Boy.” This ballad-y version was softer than the original but still powerful and vulnerable, showing off Chetal’s belt and lower notes.
Switching to a more country vibe, sophomore business major Lauren Wholey performed “Mary’s Song” by Tayor Swift. Like Abrahamson and Maggio, Wholey showed off her skill as a multi-talented musician by singing and playing acoustic guitar, making her cover an awesome tribute to Taylor Swift herself. Also playing acoustic guitar was Maggio, performing “Emoji of a Wave” by John Mayer. His skill as a guitarist was apparent, and his soft voice fit the aesthetic of the song well.
A shining moment was first-year Baer’s cover of Kelly Clarkson’s “Piece by Piece.” Choosing to perform a song that was near and dear to her, her performance made it clear how this song hits home emotionally. Even with Abrahamson on piano and Raman providing backup vocals, all of the focus was on her and her beautiful voice. Her cover was sweet and tender, and incredibly impressive.
Maggio then returned for his second performance of the night, a short cover of “Untitled” by Rex Orange County. Busting out his cream-colored electric guitar, Maggio sang, whistled, and played a wonderful cover. His lilting voice paid a strong tribute to the original artist, doing the song justice.
Also a strong tribute to the original artist was Raman’s powerful cover of Sia’s “Elastic Heart.” Not only known for his smooth riffs but also his ability to belt pop power ballads, Raman delivered yet again with this cover of Sia. It was both energetic and warm, truly showing off Raman’s abilities as a soloist.
To close off the show was an original song written by the Treblemakers’ music director Andrew Abrahamson. Titled “Hydroplane,” the song was gentle and bittersweet, featuring a protagonist who is “trying not to lose” his lover and is “sick of waking up alone.” It showed off Abrahamson’s abilities as both a performer and a songwriter, clearly showing the audience that he is the right man for the position of music director. Accompanied by Maggio on acoustic guitar, the two gave a fantastic performance to end their first cabaret.
The Treblemakers all gave an impressive performance at a very successful first cabaret. For more information on the group and their performances (past and future), check out their Facebook page or visit their website at cmutreblemakers.com.