Quinnipiac a capella group takes on big stage in NYC

Quinnipiac a capella group takes on big stage in NYC

NEW HAVEN – Since childhood, Nina Pezzello of Waterford has dreamed of performing in the heart of New York City during the busiest season of the year, the Christmas and New Year’s weekends.

Two days before the end of 2022, she and 15 other Quinnipiac University students did just that, performing as openers for a sold-out Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall.

“It was so crazy to look out into the audience and see the amount of people and where our family was all sitting and just looking up, it was amazing,” said Pezzelo, president of QU Legends, an a capella group at Quinnipiac. “Honestly, I think I blacked out during it because it was just like, ‘oh, my god, this is happening.'”

The band performed “Mary Did You Know” and “White Winter Hymnal.” It lasted about five minutes but Chris Baker from Cheshire said it was “a moment you’ll remember forever for sure”.

The opportunity first came in 2021, through a non-competitive process, but that year’s shows were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pezzelo said organizers heard about the QU Legends because one of them went to college in Connecticut.

“Over the last year, I’ve been talking to staff members from Radio City like emails, Zoom calls, phone calls to plan everything,” she said.

But the magnitude of the deal didn’t hit them until they traveled to New York with their families and friends.

“We got to go in through the stage door, where all the Rockettes and the cast come in, which is really cool in itself because, I mean, that’s crazy,” Pezzelo said. “When we walked into the theater, I think we were all like, ‘holy, wow,’ because I forgot how big the stage was.”

It was a “dream come true” moment and “one of the top 10 experiences of my life” for her, she said, noting that her family had an entire busload of about 50 people in town to see them. them performing.

For Baker, treasurer of the QU Legends, he said his favorite part of the day, aside from performing, was being able to walk around the city and explore “all the iconic places” for Christmas in New York with his family who traveled from so far. Massachusetts to see the show.

“They were just as excited as I was, if not more,” Baker said. “Just to see us all on the big stage” and see how he’s grown with the band in the last four years.

Angel Wang, the band’s musical director, said she had never been to Radio City before and being able to perform there on her first visit was a “crazy” idea.

“My favorite part was really being able to reunite with the group again after the semester was over,” said Wang, of Cheshire.

Pezzello said the group has been together to the point that members consider each other family.

“There are the best people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing and being around,” she said. “It was so incredible to see them and to see us all together, just like the excitement and nerves before any big show.”

The Quinnipiac a capella group also ranked among the top 20 teams nationwide through a college-level competition earlier this year.

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