In the mood for some great a cappella? Well, senior Paul Wagenseller has got you covered! This suave, Batman lover is the musical director for one of BC’s most prominent groups on campus, the Bostonians! Read on to get to know Paul and the Bostonians!
Major: Political Science
Other Activities: Work-study at the Campus School, employee at BC catering, member of the Pep Band.
How did you get involved with the Bostonians? I auditioned for the Bostonians as a freshman. I never really sang in high school and had never taken a lesson, but I thought, what the hell? I like to sing, so decided I’d give it a go. I’m not sure what drew me to the Bostonians specifically. All of the a cappella groups on campus are fantastic and I’m sure I would have been at home in any of them (my one true dream was to be in the Sharps, but alas). I met members of many groups in my first week here, and at the end of the day it was the Bostonians who really made me feel at home. So here I am.
What is your role within the group? I have been the music director for a year and a half now. It’s a tough job, but a rewarding one, and I wouldn’t want to be in any other position. I write many of the arrangements for the group and I conduct our rehearsals, which happen three times a week. The musical direction of the group is largely determined by me and I’ve tried my best over the past year to imbue our performances with energy and fun. My role is a daunting one, but it’s made so much easier, thanks to the support of the Bostonians. Basically, I just put dots on a page. They’re the ones who really bring life to the music, and I can’t thank them enough for all the hard work they pour into it.
How can other people get involved? We hold auditions at the beginning of each semester. Try out! We don’t bite… Well, Aram Barmakian sometimes bites, but you shouldn’t worry about him.
What are some of your favorite songs? It’s become tradition for the Bostonians to perform a “Dance Mashup” every year that features some of the summer’s biggest hits. Those are always some of my favorites to arrange and perform because they send the energy level through the roof. This year’s mashup has 10 songs hidden in it. See if you can catch them all. Other than that, my favorites from over the years include Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” Zac Brown Band’s “Loving You Easy,” Labrynth’s “Jealous,” and Simon & Garfunkel’s “America.” Looking to the future, we’ll be debuting “Sunday Candy” by Donnie Trumpet and Chance the Rapper soon, so look forward to that!
How do you decide what songs to sing? We have a democratic process where group members will bring in songs they’d like to see the group sing and we all vote on our favorites. We whittle the list down and decide on a few that we’re going with, and then we arrange them and get to work ASAP. In special instances, we may hold a song selection for an individual member or members who haven’t had a new song in a while. Finally, seniors get to circumvent the voting process and pick their own final solos.
What’s the best part about being a member of the Bostonians? Oh gosh, there are too many things. It could be our yearly spring tour, where we go to crazy places like California or Canada or Medfield, Massachusetts. It could be the numerous gigs we have over the course of the year (highlights include opening for Joan Rivers, singing on NBC for Sunday Night Football, and performing at several weddings). It could be our big fall and spring shows where we get to showcase everything in our repertory. Honestly, though? The best part about being a Bostonian is just that: being a Bostonian. It’s about so much more than just the music. We’re a family, through and through, and we’d do anything for each other. Sorry brb I’ve gotta go have myself a nice cry. Okay I’m back.
When is your next concert? NEXT CONCERT IS DECEMBER 5th IN GASSON 100 AT 7PM! Come for the tunes, stay for the, um, good vibes and stuff. Maybe there’ll be pizza! There probably won’t be pizza. Well, pizza or no pizza, I can’t wait to see you there.
So, if you’re in the mood for good music and lots of fun, check out Paul and the Bostonians at their next performance!