Georgia McAdams '14 of Gladwyne, Pa. performed with The Trinity College Quirks, an all-female a cappella group, in the White House Grand Foyer on Saturday, as part of a holiday tradition in the nation's capital. Singing groups are invited annually to the White House to welcome visitors from around the world, touring one of the world's most well-known buildings during the holiday season.
The White House performance is the latest high-profile appearance for the Trinity Quirks. They sang at the opening of a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park in 2012; joined the Whiffenpoofs of Yale University for shows at Infinity Hall in Norfolk, Conn., in 2012 and 2013; and competed in the Silver Chord Bowl, a showcase of top a cappella groups in the nation, in 2012. The group has established itself as a Connecticut favorite, having been featured on WNPR, NBC Connecticut, and in Connecticut Magazine, and having performed at several events in Hartford, including this year's Hartford Hodge Podge and the 40th Annual Festival of Trees & Traditions at the Wadsworth Athenaeum.
"This performance is a culmination of our musical and personal progress as a group," said Rachael Burke, PR Director of the Quirks.
It will be a homecoming of sorts for Margaret Nolan '14, one of five senior members of the Quirks, and a former White House intern.
"I cannot wait to step foot on the White House campus again and share that experience with my best friends, the Quirks," she said before the performance. "I'm also looking forward to being a tour guide after we sing through our set and get the chance to walk through the East Wing ourselves."
Nicole Muto-Graves '15, an ethnomusicology major and the Quirks Musical Director, was abroad in Trinidad this semester, and returned to the United States the day before the performance to join the group. While she was abroad, Muto-Graves stayed in close contact with the Quirks, arranging several songs for them from afar.
"Words cannot even begin to describe how much the Quirks mean to me, and how they have truly defined my Trinity experience in the most beautiful way," Muto-Graves said leading up to the performance. "It really is a dream come true to join [the Quirks] for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
At the White House, the group performed holiday songs, including Carol of the Bells, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and Christmas is All Around Us, as well as popular hits and classics, including House of the Rising Sun, Wagon Wheel, Superstition, Never Let You Go, Send Me on My Way, Royals, I Need a Dollar/No Diggity, Bottom of the River, and All These Things That I've Done.
Click here to listen to the Quirks sing "Carol of the Bells."
The Quirks were founded in 2004 by Brie Schwartz '06, and Anna Vognsen '06, who both live in New York City, and started the Quirks in their sophomore year. Fittingly, the 2013 Quirks invited Schwartz and Vognsen to be there for the performance.
"We're honored and we're thrilled [to be attending]," Vognsen said before the performance. "We're so proud of everything they've done and very excited to be there."
Schwartz echoed those sentiments.
"It's so incredible to see how far the Quirks have come, so quickly," she said before the bus trip to Washington. "I'm going to feel pretty patriotic being in the White House for this. What an incredible opportunity."
Singing with the Quirks were: Caitlin Crombleholme '13 (Denver, Colo. and Indian Hill, Ohio); Perin Adams '13 (Concord, Mass.); Annick Bickson '14 (New York, N.Y.); Georgia McAdams '14 (Gladwyne, Pa. and Richmond, Va.); Rachael Burke '14 (Swampscott, Mass.); Sarah Watson '15 (Columbus, Ohio); Nicole Muto-Graves '15 (Boxford, Mass.); Meredith Munro '14 (Spring Lake, N.J.); Nykia Tanniehill '15 (Calumet City, Ill.); Noni Ghani '16 (Washington, D.C.); Molly Belsky '16 (Grafton, Mass.); Molly McGlynn '17 (Quincy, Mass.); Julianna Leone '17 (Wilmette, Ill.); Brice Rothenberg '17 (Brooklyn Heights, N.Y.); and Ellie Clerc '17 (Washington, D.C.).
The Quirks will perform on Trinity's campus in May. To watch the group, to listen to their music, or for a performance schedule, visit www.trinitycollegequirks.com.