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Ohh Dear: A Q&A With The President of BU’s All-Male A Cappella Group

Uumm is there anything better than a guy with a mic and a sexy set of pipes? You can find out this Saturday, April 29th, during The Dear Abbeys 25th Anniversary Concert. The Abbeys, BU’s only all-male a cappella group on campus, have accomplished a lot in the last 25 years (including 3 performances at College Fashion Week!). To help celebrate, we asked their president, senior Yanni Metaxas, a few questions:

Are you guys a big deal? Do you have fans?

We have a fan base. It’s small… We’re not like rock stars or anything. We don’t walk down the streets and hear people say “WOW it’s the Dear Abbeys.” We all encourage our friends to come to our shows but we don’t really need to. Our friends who have come since freshman year love it so much that they come to all of our shows and they support us. Which gives us that feeling of being a rock star. But what has really amazed me is sometimes meeting random people who find out I’m in the Dear Abbeys. Sometimes they’ll say something like “I love the Dear Abbey.” I’m like “who do you know in the Dear Abbey?” and they’ll say “No one, I’ve just been going to your concert since freshman year.” It’s flattering. It’s cool to see there are people who go because they really want to and not because they know the president or something like that.

What was your vision as president?

It has been thrusted upon me as a freshman- that it will be the 25th anniversary when I’m a senior. This is a big deal for our group because we have a very strong alumni connect, a strong alumni base… It was really important for me to wrap up the first 25 years of this group because the group in 1992 is not what it is today. It is not what it was 10 or 15 years ago. My goal was to make this a pinnacle of all things Abbeys over the last 25 years. My goal is to makes sure there is something for everyone who comes. So we can show who we are when we get on stage yet an alumnist won’t look at the stage and be like “This group is not what I was apart of 10 years ago.” I want them to be like “I miss that. Like that is what I did when I was in the group.”

How do you do that?

I said “lets take the extra time this year to do all the things that the Abbeys have done in their 25 years.” We did a small competition this year, it was just a small one and not a big one. We went touring. We recorded an album this year. We’ve been spending the last two months planning for this huge weekend where we’re having 60 alumni come back.

How long have you been president?

I’ve been involved since I was a freshman. This is my first, last, and only year as president. But it has been fun and rewarding. I love it.

What is the highlight of your time in the Abbeys?

We recorded an album, this is a full length album… We started recording it in May of last year and finished recording it in January of this year. It was finally finished last month and we’re releasing it this Saturday at the show…Recording, first and foremost, is really cool. Because who gets to that? Who gets to go to an actual studio and spend a week there just recording your music and utilizing facilities you wouldn’t have access to unless you worked in that field?…That was one of the highlights, because there are so many highlights. Just being in a studio and making music with my best friends.

How did you get involved in the Abbeys?

When I came to BU, I knew all the a capella groups already and had researched them. I auditioned for all the groups I could have- the four co-ed groups and the Dear Abbeys. I got into the group I wanted to and the rest was history.

Were the Dear Abbey your first choice? If so, why?

The Dear Abbeys were my first choice… Why? There was something about watching them online that really grabbed my attention. I was awe struck by the talent and the passion. But it went beyond that because there is talent and passion in every a cappella group here at BU which is really cool and wonderful. But beyond that, I think it’s really cool when certain groups is when they invite you into their reality. I feel like that’s hard to do when you only have 10 or 20 minutes on stage to perform a set for people. That’s especially hard to transfer on Youtube…There was definitely something about the group at the time that said to me that “this is everything you wanted but more than that”… The group had this swagger and persona about it that invited you in and you couldn’t look away from them. They were so cool.

How have the Dear Abbeys changed since your freshman?

We’ve changed a lot…My freshman year, it was wonderful know that this group that has done all these cool things has accepted you. That the group wants you to help it grow. But that’s the thing- the group wanted to grow. It was ready to transform and get a new identity. Slowly, each year, we’ve been working towards this new identity. We’ve changed our attire, changed our website, changed our marketing, changed our logos, we’re changing our musical aesthetics ever-so-slightly, we’re pushing the boundaries of what we can do in the studio. Things like that. I’m really proud of my guys to see all the dedication that they have had. That this isn’t just my vision, that this is something that every single guy cares about so much. They’re willing to put in all those extra hours to make something more that just special, to make it extraordinary….But there is something about our group that hasn’t changed in 25 years. Even if the aesthetic has changed, our the type of guys in our group has changed, or the drive has changed, or whatever it may be.

How has the Dear Abbeys changed you?

You came out of this group different than how you entered. I hope my guys come out enriched from the experience and feel like they have something to always hold onto. We are apart of the Dear Abbeys but the Dear Abbeys become apart of us, in a sense. Even if I never do music for the rest of my life, which is probably not true, the Abbeys will always be so important to me for my whole life. It has shaped who I am, my college experience, and the relationships I made. I mean these are my best friends. These guys are going to be at my wedding, these guys are going to go on trips with me when we’re 25 or when we’re 50. I’m never going to lose touch with these guys. That bond over just music, I don’t know where else you would find a bond like this.

This is your senior year, how are you going to say goodbye to the Dear Abbeys?

I haven’t really had time to think about how I’m going to say goodbye to the group. I’m just trying my best to make it through the weekend. I’m just trying to make sure that everyone has the best time and that everything runs smoothly.

How will you incorporate music into your life once you graduate and leave the Dear Abbeys?

At the bare minimum, I will always be doing music in one form or another. Whether it’s just having a violin in my house or office and playing it whenever I want to or being in a barbershop quartet or doing a musical every few years just to perform with people again. I will always find a way to keep it with me. I think that music is the greatest thing that can strike personal emotion… Music is, in its rawest form, truly impactful on everyone. It would be a shame to give it up.

You can purchase their new album here and here!




BU '18

BU Contributor
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