Last spring, St. Ambrose’s first ever male a capella group formed on campus. Bee Sharp was the result of two students who took the initiative to bring their passions of singing to St. Ambrose. Junior Keaton Connell was proud to say the group has been together for a whole year.
“We have great musicians and they’re all really hard workers,” Keaton said. “The guys are hilarious and fun people to be around.”
Connell, along with fellow student Ben Ulfers, founded the group. They held auditions for the male a capella group last spring and they have been going strong for the past year.
With about 10 male SAU students and music teacher Keith Hann as their director, Bee Sharp was the turning point for Connell in his college career. He originally came to Ambrose to be a business student, but he changed his major to music last year.
“I have always had a love and passion for singing,” Connell said. “I couldn’t imagine doing anything different. I have to have it in my life every day.”
The change to a music major was a serious one, because Connell’s graduation date will now be pushed back a year. He said it’s worth it to be studying something he loves.
St. Ambrose helped to bring out Connell’s love for music. He said he has always been interested in singing, but never acted on it until his freshman year at Ambrose.
“I went to a small high school with a graduating class of 12 and there wasn’t much opportunity for singing,” he said. The only singing he was involved in prior to college was choir singing for church. He plans to continue with his musical studies after graduating from Ambrose in 2013.
“I hope to go to grad school and teach at a university,” Connell said, “and perform whenever possible.”
He explained that his favorite kind of singing is choral singing. He likes that the a capella group does a wide variety of singing from sacred to classic do-wop. They have even done a version of the “Hallelujah” song from the movie Shrek.
“Bee Sharp is a different style of singing for me,” he said. “All the experience is very important. It makes all of us better singers as individuals.”
Connell said he wants to see more involvement and participation in the community.
“We want to grow and establish our name outside of St. Ambrose,” Keaton said.
Bee Sharp has performed for many St. Ambrose events, such as the Ubiquity of Work project that has been going on this year. They will also perform for the spring concert on May 8. They also perform around Davenport for the public.
Connell said the group is always looking for new talent. Auditions are on-going throughout the year. Keaton, Ulfers, or Hann are the guys to contact to be a part of Bee Sharp