Friends form music group

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Eight Baker University crooners have been making a name for themselves after forming a student-organized octet.

The group was formed this semester when juniors Eli Jones and Saunder James seniors Jessica Lenhart, Tim Haynes, and Trevor Racine, sophomores Courtney West and Ali Watson and freshman Margo Rodewald came together to do what they love: sing.

“We kind of just got together to sing for fun,” Lenhart said. “We were all just really good friends in the music department. Our personalities mix well together, and we just got together and it worked out that way.”

The group has performed at various churches in the Baldwin City community and in Paola.

Watson said one performance in particular sticks out, however.

“We sang at New Lancaster Lutheran Church (near Paola) this Sunday,” she said. “It was one of the most amazing church services I’ve ever been in before. It was very neat.”

Watson joined the group after being approached by Jones and has loved being a part of the octet.

“I thoroughly enjoy it,” she said. “I was actually quite surprised that we got a lot accomplished. Most student groups I have been involved with before had said we’re going to do all this stuff, but we just ended up not getting much accomplished. But we can actually do this on our own and we, as students without professors, can go in and get work done and get stuff accomplished by ourselves.”

Racine said it’s been “absolutely fantastic” being a part of a student-organized group.

“The group is full of people who are really dedicated,” he said. “The best part is just being with people who really love music.”

Jones said it’s nice having a small group that gets to choose its own music and rehearsal times.

The group rehearses two or three times a week for about an hour, and lately the rehearsals have been in preparation for its concert Wednesday at the Clarice L. Osborne Memorial Chapel.

Lenhart said being a part of 8 on 8th has been a great experience she’ll miss after she graduates in May, and she hopes the group continues to perform.

“Just to be involved in such a small tight-knit group and to sing challenging music,” she said. “I sure hope they continue it. I mean, it’s something that can be built upon and expanded if they felt it necessary. So I hope they continue, because we’re very talented and it would be a shame to see it go.”