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University Choir Goes Virtual

Posted on 01 June 2012 by Jasmyne Brennecke

When you hear the word ‘choir’, you may think of several different ideas: images of a large group of people singing in unison, long robes, or maybe even a church or balcony. But did the idea of computers and web videos ever come to mind? Probably not, but it has become quite common since 2010 thanks to the classical composer and conductor Eric Whitacre.
Whitacre begins by choosing a piece of his music and records himself conducting the piece. He then uploads his video onto YouTube where singers can watch sing along with their part: soprano, alto, tenor or bass.
The singers submit their own recordings of themselves to Whitacre who works with Scott Haines to compile the hundreds of accepted videos to put together Eric Whit acre’s Virtual Choir.
This year Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir 3 will be performing his own piece “Water Night.” Eric Whitacre will be compiling his third virtual choir, titled Virtual Choir 3 Water Night, and it will be posted on YouTube in the spring. Marquette University Chorus is partaking in this unique opportunity.
The University Chorus director, Mark Konewko, has chosen this activity as an assignment for all his singers this spring semester. Mark Konewko first heard about Eric Whitacre five years ago when one of his students did a presentation about him in his music appreciation class. His choir has sung many of Whitacre’s pieces
This year marks the first time Mr. Konewko has included Whitacre’s third virtual choir on his syllabus. “This is the first year I’ve had actual homework for my choir. At first I think they were more like, ‘Ugh, homework.’”
The people editing this virtual choir have agreed to send Mr. Konewko the names of his students who have submitted their videos so they can get the credit. “Getting to work with
Eric Whitacre, I’ve seen that he’s very sincere, genuine and a gentleman overall,” Konewko stated.
For some of Konewko’s singers, this was the very first time they had ever recorded themselves like this.
Jake Daggett, a freshman, said of the experience: “We were able to view [the conducting video] during rehearsals and practice. It was easy enough to do. When you did your recording later, it was hard to control your breathing. You sounded weird. You could hear the obvious spots where you took a breath. But when your video gets put with all the others, the other videos help mask over the spot people took for breaths and pauses.”
The only requirement was that the participating singers must wear a black shirt and be the only person in the room. The singers could record themselves as many takes as they needed before submission.
“We are so connected with the composer of the piece and to be part of something greater is my favorite part of this experience,” Daggett explained. “Who knows? My name might be recognized or maybe some of my friends’. I would definitely do it again.”
As for Mr. Konewko, the possibility of doing something like this with Eric Whitacre’s virtual choir again is still up for debate. “I don’t know that yet. I’d like to get more feedback from the students about their experience first to see if I will keep it on the syllabus for
next year.”
Whitacre’s Virtual Choir has grown significantly since 2010. His first virtual choir had numerous singers from twelve different countries while his second virtual choir was made up of over two thousand singers from fifty-eight different countries.
This year’s virtual choir will not only be uploaded onto YouTube like the previous ones, but Virtual Choir 3.0 is being developed to become an audio-video art installation in many cities across the world.
Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir 3.0 is expected to be posted sometime in the spring. The deadline for submissions has been extended due to website and internet complications, but the normal time for release is around April or May. The announcement of its release will be posted on Eric Whitacre’s blog at

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Business Abroad: El Salvador

Posted on 01 June 2012 by Matt Faucett

On January 8 Dr. Noreen Lephardt, Dr. Heather Kohls and eight Marquette students embarked on an atypical Christmas vacation.
They did not spend their vacation in a four-star hotel or a water park enjoying the remaining days before Marquette began its spring
semester. Instead the group spent a week in El Salvador helping two small businesses grow and develop into profitable organizations. The Center for Global and Economic Studies in Marquette’s College of Business sponsors and runs the student program Applied Global Business Learning (AGBL).
The AGBL enables students and professors – organized into “brigades” – to travel to developing countries in order to help small businesses. In the words of Adjunct Associate Professor of Economics Dr. Noreen Lephardt, “AGBL brigades are an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge for the betterment of small companies in a developing economy, and I believe it is a transformation experience for them”.
The Marquette brigade, which consisted of a variety of majors including Spanish and Accounting and a MBA student, helped develop two Salvadorian businesses by applying the principles they learned in the classroom. The first small business the group traveled to was a purse factory.
This factory was not the colossal, smoke-stacked building with thousands of employees that Americans are accustomed to seeing. Only a few women ran this factory. They produced all their purses on three sewing machines. The building had a simple, paneled roof and walls on a concrete slab.
The students, aided by their professors, provided valuable business information and advice to the women. The group also provided the small business with a “SWOT” analysis, a method used to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of a
developing business.
The group did not have the opportunity to stay in hotels with all the amenities. Instead, the students and professors stayed with the
families they worked with. The families lived in huts with dirt floors and sheets serving as the walls of the house.
Most of the brigade’s food was provided by the families, who graciously shared what they had with Marquette’s students and faculty. The group often discussed and reflected on their hosts’ hospitalities. These discussions had a deep impact on both the students and professors involved.
On the second half of the AGBL trip, the group visited a chicken farm.The business owned 560 chickens, which is not a lot compared to the thousands of chickens in factory farms in the United States.
The developing business had large issues with developing an effective way to distribute wages. None of the employees were being paid.
Marquette’s AGBL brigade helped the business develop an effective pay system and pricing strategy for the company in order to enable its future success.
While the brigade was often busy working with the developing the business, the group also had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture and history of El Salvador.
The Spanish majors could utilize their skills in a realistic setting, as they translated for the group on many occasions. The group visited the death site of Bishop Oscar Romero and reflected in the Jesuit values of faith and
service, which was a key theme of the trip.
Professor Lephardt says the trip “is an excellent example of the transformational Ignatian educational experience that is a distinguishing characteristic of a Marquette University education”.
Not only were the businesses that the group helped better off, but the brigade also learned valuable lessons that will serve them well in their future endeavors.
The group learned how to communicate effectively despite cultural and lingual barriers. They also learned how to fix problems that come from starting a small business and get
the most out of limited resources. One of the most important skills the students gained was the ability to communicate freely with their
In the words of Dr. Lephardt, “For me, participating in the El Salvador business brigade was an exceptional experience because it established a different partnership of learning between students and faculty”.
Thus far, brigades have gone to India, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. This spring a group of students will go to Cost Rica.
Students interested in AGBL should visit

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Bridge TV Needs Real Diversity

Posted on 14 February 2012 by Sam Kinney

Marquette’s Raynor Memorial built its bridge extension for the Raynor Memorial Libraries in 2002. Although the bridge has a great variety of food and a unique atmosphere, the television programming is bland. That is of course unless you enjoy watching CNN all day.

To a certain extent I understand why they chose CNN to be shown. Usually coffee shops and other restaurants tune into 24-hour news networks for their patrons. But this is Marquette. Why not play MUTV? The MUTV news program is broadcast on channel 99 Monday-Thursday from 6:30-9:30 pm. It is created, produced and anchored by Marquette students. During that three-hour time window shouldn’t Marquette broadcast its own news program?

I spoke with a number of my peers, and they all said the same thing: no one watches channel 99.
Some people, especially freshmen, do not even know what channel MUTV is. This is a perfect opportunity to market its own news program.

As stated, the MUTV news program is not broadcast 24 hours a day. But I tuned to channel 99 during a time that the news program was not being broadcast and I found what is called mtvU.

This is played during the 21 other hours of the day and during the weekends when MUTV is not on air. MtvU is just like the real MTV, it plays music videos by popular artists. Our generation is very connected with our music, so why can’t we enjoy it whenever we are able to?

I also asked random students if they would rather watch news all day or listen to music. To no surprise, all of them said they would rather listen to music. Why doesn’t the University satisfy the student’s demands? Studies have shown that people work better when they are happy and comfortable. Our generation is comfortable with listening to music while studying. Perhaps an older audience would enjoy watching CNN, but we students do not.

But why stop with music? The library can tune to ESPN, another 24-hour news network. ESPN has interactive shows such as NFL 32 and Sports Nation. These kinds of programs lighten the mood like music. The bridge could turn on ESPN at least some of the time.

However, there is something more at stake here. This television situation goes deeper than just music and sports. Political biases are coming to the forefront when solely broadcasting CNN. It’s no secret that CNN has a liberal bias. And any lefty can tell you FOX News has a conservative bias. If Marquette truly believes in diversity, they will play both. Marquette preaches to its students to be fair and be accepting of others. But Marquette fails to do so itself. Accepting other cultures is important. Why should politics be any different? The University wants us to conform to their ideas, but they refuse to accept mine. That is extremely hypocritical.

It’s not fair to those of us who are not Democrats. We conservatives are tired of indoctrination. I want a fair and balanced news program. If MU only allows 24-hour news network to play on the Bridge, I advocate for FOX News. Obviously, very few people would be in favor of only broadcasting FOX News. Why not allow FOX News and CNN?

I asked the librarians about this topic and Jean Zanoni, Associate Dean of Libraries, told me: “ESPN is out since it is too narrowly focused. MUTV is under consideration, but closed captioning is not available for MUTV. Closed captioning is essential since the sound is muted. Also, it appears that their programming schedule does not match Bridge hours. It would be challenging to schedule channel switching during library service hours. CNN continues to serve the needs of the area with comprehensive news coverage, closed captioning and display headlines. We also broadcast some sporting events such as the Marquette basketball games during tournaments, the Olympics, World Cup soccer, etc”.

I specifically asked Zanoni about MUTV, ESPN, CNN and FOX News. As shown above, Zanoni seemingly avoided answering about FOX News. Perhaps the library can shed some light on this issue.

Going back to the Zanoni’s response, how does CNN serve the needs of the area? Serving the area is what MUTV or local channels are for. CNN is broadcast throughout the world. Yes, CNN uncovers in-depth stories, but so does FOX News. FOX provides comprehensive news coverage, closed captioning and display headlines, just like CNN. Zanoni’s response appears biased.

The bottom line is that the Bridge has one television but only broadcasts CNN. They should show something more local to Marquette like MUTV or at least balance the liberal station with a conservative one like FOX.

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Dynamic Power Trio Set to Amp up Marquette Music Scene

Posted on 13 February 2012 by Joe Defelice

Look out Warriors, there’s a new power-trio rising in Wisconsin and they’re set to take the world for a ride. Boasting unadulterated, raw power, catchy lyrical style, and a great beat to dance to, The Living Statues are ready to kick some life into Marquette’s music scene.
The Living Statues bring an incredible blend of influences to create their own unique style. The pure crunch of the guitars and amps, a smooth bass line filling the bottom, and energetic drums keep the beat driving, but this isn’t just your daddy’s garage band. They bring a dance-rock rhythm that draws everyone together in front of the stage. The lyrics are very modern: brilliantly poetic and catchy.
“When I describe our sound to venues I tell them, ‘Imagine the White Stripes spilled their drinks on The Strokes and then got into a scuffle with Kings of Leon,’” says Morales.
Go to one of their shows and you soon realize that there is a lot more to the Statues than playing a few songs and going home. The showmanship is phenomenal, and it starts with the contagious, go-big-or-go-home fire of frontman Tommy Shears.
“We’re about to play one of my favorite songs,” Tommy announced most reverently to the crowd at The Bad Genie, “But it’s kind of intimidating when the man who wrote it is staring right at you…and his face is five by five.” For a second you could’ve heard a single pin drop, “John Lennon wrote this song.”
With that the Statues ripped into a rendition of “Well Well Well” that would have brought the rock legend to tears.
Meanwhile, behind the drum-kit Morales brings the steady spark and pop of the Statues. Truly the steady and powerful heartbeat that drives the band’s speedy dance rhythm.
Shears is the fire and Morales the heart, it’s Alex Thornberg that provides the ebb and flow that glues the act together at the seams. His smooth bass lines and cool, calm attitude complement his band-mates perfectly.
“Thorn definitely brings the cool to the act,” Morales said, “We met Thornberg recently. He’s from Chicago, and he fit right in.”
While Chris and Tom, both Milwaukee natives, have been playing together since high school they started collaborating seriously in 2008. While they have been known to pay tribute to classic hits, their main focus is their own original work. Their single “Red Shoes” was the first song they wrote together, back in ’08. It’s just the first of their ever-expanding repertoire.
Tom is a technically trained musician, having taken classical guitar for several years. Morales, on the other hand, didn’t play an instrument until high school. “My family is a musical one, my father played percussion and danced. Beats just come natural to me,” says Morales. Love of making music is clearly something shared by all members of the band.
“Seeing people go crazy dancing to a song that you wrote is the greatest feeling imaginable,” Shears told the Warrior.
While many college campuses are thriving centers of artistic culture, certainly the proving grounds for many aspiring musicians, it is not surprising the disappointment many artists have found at Marquette. Marquette is just not for the arts. That’s not to say that the university is against it. Yes, various dance companies and choral groups book the various theaters on campus. The History department even boasts a class on the history of rock and roll, but there is very little over all participation from the students. It is frustrating for many of the students on campus, but the Statues are determined to breathe some life into the Marquette music scene.
“Sure, there are a lot of musicians here at Marquette, and a lot of “cover” musicians. That’s great, but no one else here is doing what we’re doing,” says Morales. “The Annex has really stepped it up, we’re excited to play there in a couple of weeks. It is also rumored that WMUR, the campus radio station, is working on hosting a showcase of Milwaukee area bands, which will hopefully serve as some inspiration. “We were contacted by WMUR, they’re really trying to build interest in Marquette’s music scene as well.”
There isn’t a doubt in anyone’s mind, the Statues are on a roll. The band released a four song EP last October and have been on the fast track since, headlining their most recent show at the popular rock venue The Bad Genie on the 29th of January. Playing for amixed crowd of college students, locals, and fellow bands. Their next show is February 9th at a popular Madison spot called Frequency. But don’t worry Marquette, they’ll be back in action at the Union Sports Annex February 17!tomandthorn

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Walker, Johnson win

Posted on 02 November 2010 by WarriorAdmin

Scott Walker

Scott Walker (image from JSonline)

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Kevin Walker became Wisconsin’s 45th governor Tuesday, beating Democrat and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett by a wide margin, according to the Associated Press, which called the race at 9:57.

As part of a national surge by Republicans as voters shifted to the right with worries over the economy, deficits and the size of government, Walker won on a platform surrounding lower taxes and more jobs, promising to cut spending, bring jobs to the state and stop a federally funded passenger train from Madison to Milwaukee.

Walker is the first person elected governor from Milwaukee County in 72 years. Turning 43 Tuesday, he is the youngest Wisconsin governor-elect since 1962, when Democrat John Reynolds was elected at age 41, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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Letter from the editor

Posted on 28 October 2010 by WarriorAdmin

Thanks for picking up another copy of The Warrior! We hope you enjoyed our last issue featuring Fr. John Naus, SJ. Photography editor Mike Szatkowski did a phenomenal job covering the story and designing the centerspread. We can’t wait for him to do another!

But after three issues with a Catholic priest on the cover, we thought it might be a good idea to switch it up. Not that we don’t enjoy being a Catholic newspaper, we just don’t want to beat you over the head with it.

So with Halloween around the corner and with our newfound imperative to not have an ecclesiastical cover page, we settled upon covering all the ghost stories being rumored around Marquette.

Whether you’re in Johnston or Humphrey, you’ll be doing a double-take after every unusual noise thanks to this rather frightening article courtesy of Melanie Pawlyszyn.

But the end of October doesn’t only mean Halloween is coming up. We also have the November elections on the 2nd of the month.

Wade Balkonis took this opportunity to write on the Tea Party movement for what is his first article of the semester. Stephanie Marecki has written an exquisite article explaining why she thinks you should vote for Scott Walker in this election.

Even if you don’t agree with one of our writers, be sure to get out and vote this election to ensure that our country and our state are better places for years to come.

And once you get tired of all our serious topics, take a stroll down to the Arts and Entertainment section where you can read Gus Lopez’s fashion suggestions. And if that doesn’t suit you, check out our Dear Lita column, where Lita answers all of your questions. Don’t be afraid to write about your worries either!

Finally, the Warrior staff would like to say how happy it is that its webmaster, Stephanie Silman, is back on campus. We all pray that you have a speedy recovery, Stephanie. Get well soon!

by Adam Ryback

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