The Muses an Inspiration for Women Singers

The Muses, an all-new, all-girl a capella group at Lick, is led by Jacqueline Blaska ’15, Eva Krukowski ’15 and Carly Steyer ’15. Their debut performance of “Go To Sleep You Little Baby” and “Royals” on January 27 brought positive reviews from Lick-Wilmerding students.

The Muses performing during LWHS Community Meeting photo by Eleanor Sananman

The Muses performing during LWHS Community Meeting
photo by Eleanor Sananman

What began as three girls who wanted to sing in a group on campus became 10 girls clad in red, blowing away the audience of Lick students during an offering at Community Meeting.

Said Jacqueline, “Our goal in all this was, first of all, to give the women of Lick a chance to sing together outside the classroom environment and to bring this element of female empowerment.”

“Every person in the group brings something different to the table,” said Carly. “I don’t know if feisty is the right word to describe it, but it’s 10 teenage girls. We’re all stubborn and sassy, but in the best possible way. It sounds cliché, but we all love each other and respect each other’s opinions and talent.”

The Muses consist of 10 girls from three grades and hope next year to welcome freshmen to the group. Jacqueline Blaska ’15, Carson Kraft ’15 and Sophia Sinsheimer ’14 are the first sopranos; Isabel Povey ’16, Clara Liang ’16, Ainsley Dankort ’14 and Audrey Sorem-Smikle ’15 are the second sopranos and Eva Krukowski ’15, Caitlin Yu ’15 and Carly Steyer ’15 are the altos.

Jacqueline, Eva and Carly started the group in fall 2013, after recognizing the gap in the school’s community that could be filled with a feminist a capella group.

Said Eva, “I really wanted a chance to sing outside of chorus but in school, in an environment where we have more freedom and leadership, with a repertoire we could pick. At the beginning of the year, we were talking about it and someone said, ‘We should start [an a capella group].’”

Carly added, “We realized that if we established a time and a place, it would ensure that we got that chance to sing at school. That’s really the beauty of music for me, is being able to share it with other people.”

The Muses are all female singers, singing songs by female artists.

“So much of the music industry now is very objectifying or sexualizing of women, and so in picking songs by female artists who are empowered and who have lyrics that speak to the messages we believe in, we’re empowering ourselves and the Lick community,” said Jacqueline.

The group’s arrangement of “Royals” at Community Meeting in their debut performance as a group was arranged completely by the 10 of them, together as a team.

“People underestimate how hard it is to coordinate a group like this,” said Eva.

The Muses would meet during tutorials and on weekends, working together to create their own unique version of Lorde’s hit song.

Jacqueline explained, “At one point this fall there was one harmony that we could just not get, and Isabel and Clara showed up at one rehearsal saying, ‘We figured it out.’ The two youngest members of the Muses totally blew us out of the water.”

When describing the process of the arrangement, Jacqueline explained that “there’s a certain kind of ownership that comes with arranging our own music, an element that’s very us as a group.”

“In terms of next year, the three of us are really excited about welcoming younger members in the group, because what we’ve seen from the underclassmen already this year has just been incredible. We’re really excited for what’s to come,” said Carly.

The Muses have arrived, stronger than ever, and with the prospect of future performances at LWOW’s “Monologues” and the Aim High Showcase, the group continues on, singing and harmonizing with only bright things ahead.

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About Zoe Harris

Zoe Harris, a senior, is celebrating her third year as co-managing editor of the Hyphen and as a reporter for the Paper Tiger. She is a leader of the literary magazine club, Lit Mag, and has written far too many weird poems. Zoe loves writing by Junot Díaz, David Sedaris, Mary Oliver, and Richard Siken, and the Harry Potter character she most closely identifies with is Luna Lovegood. She loves the Hyphen dearly and hopes readers do, too.

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