Singing for Sisters

Katie Boes

About 15 women from the Busse House dorm floor quickly flocked from the warmth of their dorm rooms to listen to the singing men of Fairchild House, their brother floor.

These men and men from other floors from various halls have begun the tradition of serenading to select and thank their sister floors.

“It’s neat,” said Alison Johnson, sophomore in graphic design. “It kind of becomes a competition between who will become our brother floor.”

Johnson said she was serenaded last year in Towers and said she hopes her current floor, Tompkins House in Willow Hall, will get serenaded sometime soon.

“It proves that they really want to be our brother floor, and they aren’t just asking any random floor,” she said.

The men of Fairchild House in Roberts Hall said they are enthusiastic about this task and want to take it a step above other floors, making their serenades a standing tradition, said several men from the floor.

“We all have fun serenading,” said Mike Rosulek, sophomore in computer science. “No one’s going to complain when there’s 50 screaming girls in front of us.”

The Fairchild serenading tradition began last year as “a sort of creative outlet for a lot of musical talent” that appeared on the floor, said Rosulek, a guitarist in the serenades. The tradition continued this year and will continue in the future, he said.

Fairchild surprised the women of Busse House in Freeman Hall a few weeks ago at their house meeting when the men asked them to become their sister floor.

The men returned Sunday night to thank the women of Busse.

“As soon as we sang to them they accepted us,” said Joe Hynek, senior in computer engineering.

The men also have serenaded entire dorms from outside their windows, he said. They do this in the fall and the spring, and the women hear them through their open windows.

“It’s more romantic that way,” Hynek said.

Usually the serenades include 10 to 12 men singing and three guitar players. Tambourines and harmonicas also were incorporated into their rendition this year.

“If we work as a group, we can woo more women,” Hynek said.

To prepare, he said, the instrumentalists usually practice during the week. Then about 10 minutes prior to the serenade, the singers gather to practice for the 15- to 20-minute presentation.

He said the men try to vary the music from serenade to serenade. This year’s selections included “Stand by Me,” “Pretty Woman,” “Brown-Eyed Girl” and “My Girl.” The serenaders said they’ve been a hit with the ladies.

“They love it,” Hynek said. “We’ve even had some take our picture.”

Jessica Rose, freshman in management information systems, said the serenades are “flattering and sweet,” especially when the men bring flowers. It is also a “great way for people to meet people from other floors,” said Rose, who lives in Willow Hall.