What once began as a barber shop quartet in 1946, the Fairfield University Bensonians are now comprised of 14 talented male vocalists. The Bensonians are known across campus for their appearances in every Glee concert as well as their own individual concerts each semester; however, this general knowledge of these singers only scratches the surface of their true aptitude.
As the talent of the Bensonians grows and becomes stronger, each year brings about a new goal for the group. This year, the Bensonians are attempting to record and mix an upcoming album “Brother II Brother,” which will be the second album by the group. In the record, students can expect to hear an assortment of songs ranging from the “Ignition Remix” to “Breakeven;” the Bensonians offer songs for music lovers of all genres.
In order for the Bensonians to create a high quality album for people to enjoy, fundraising is necessary. Starting their fundraising in late January, the Bensonians hope to continue fundraising through mid-March, right before they begin the recording process. Located on the Bensonians’ Facebook page is an Indiegogo Campaign titled, “The Fairfield University Bensonians” which students are encouraged to donate to. The Bensonians have also resorted to different methods of raising money for their album, such as selling grilled cheese sandwiches at the Townhouses during weekends.
According to Ben Bayers ‘17, Bensonian Director, “Those who donate online can actually claim amazing perks in thanks for [the] donations. These include free albums, stickers, thank yous and even free song downloads.”
Bayers continued to explain that the group’s decision to create this new album stemmed from much deliberation regarding a timeline and careful planning that will help them grow. The Bensonians hope to create a product that will stand in line with other a cappella groups across the country. With recording beginning in April, the album will be released on iTunes and in the school bookstore during the Fall 2017 semester, a perfect way to introduce themselves to the incoming first-years.
The Bensonians have earned their place in the spotlight not only on campus, but throughout the East Coast. The group has ventured off campus on multiple occasions, performing at private parties, competitions and invitationals. Trained to sing tunes from doo-wop to rap and pop, the talent of this group is remarkable. Additionally, due to the Bensonians’ vast repertoire of music, the auditioning process is no easy feat, explained Bayers.
“When it comes to auditions, it’s a relatively lengthy process” said Bayers. “We have the prospective member sing a solo a cappella, do tonal memory exercises, as well as blending work to test their musicality and cohesiveness with our group. We also have callbacks if needed.”
From their first audition to their final performance, members of the Bensonians devote their time and energy into this club and only hope to see it thrive. Offering an album for students and non-students to purchase and enjoy will heighten the expertise of the Bensonians that much more.
“We just hope that the Fairfield University community will help us in our efforts,” said Bayers. “Whether it’s through personal donations or even just sharing our campaign to reach more people who want to help support the arts.”