Saxophone quartet to showcase at SU

By Sarah McMillin, Staff Writer 

The New Thread Saxophone Quartet will perform a concert in Stretansky Concert Hall on Feb. 5.

According to the music department, the New Thread Quartet, based in New York City, was “formed with the mission to develop and perform impactful new music for the saxophone and to provide high level ensemble playing to feature today’s compositional voice.”

The group has received critical acclaim and was called “adventurous” and “rule- breaking” by New Music Box. The New York Times also said that their performances were “a spell cast by music.”

According to its website, the group has traveled and performed in several locations, including but not limited to the New England Conservatory, Carnegie Hall and the World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland.

As a group, the New Thread Quartet has performed and recorded more than 30 works for saxophone quartets.

The group’s members are Geoffrey Landman on soprano saxophone, Kristen McKeon on alto saxophone, Erin Rogers on tenor saxophone and Zach Herchen on baritone saxophone.

According to its website, the New Thread Quartet likes to focus on bringing new works to life. As their website states, “NTQ has a track record of working closely with composers in a workshop environment during the formation of new works and encourages composer attendance at rehearsals.”

“The quartet strives for multiple performances of newly commissioned works in attempt to bring new music to different audiences as often as possible,” the website continued.

Susquehanna is only one of the schools that the group will be performing at this year.

In the past, the New Thread Saxophone Quartet has per- formed and held master classes for student saxophonists and composers at schools including but not limited to Peabody Conservatory, Queens College and NYU.

The New Thread Saxophone Quartet will be the second musical performance of the month after the SU Bridge Quartet recital on Feb. 1.

The rest of February will include performances by students including senior Heather Knox, juniors Kaitlyn Killeen, Hannah Nyce, Benjamin Nause and Benjamin Nylander. Faculty members Jeffrey Fahnestock and Naomi Niskala will also perform a joint recital.

Other musical events this month include a performance from Kevin Noe, director of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and the Honors Band Finale Concert in mid-February.

All previously mentioned performances are scheduled to take place in Stretansky Concert Hall, with the exception of the Honors Band Finale Concert, which will take place in Weber Chapel.

Gallery features works by women, ‘underrepresented voices’

By Kat Cardenas, Contributing Writer 

The Lore Degenstein Art Gallery showcased the first exhibit of the semester, “Prints by Women,” on Jan. 16.

The exhibit, organized by the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens, includes 46 prints-woodcuts, lithographs, drypoints, etchings and screen prints, among other types. The works range from the 19th through the 21st centuries, each by a different European or American female artist.

“Prints by Women” uses works from the museum’s permanent collection to recognize and advocate for women in art.

Ashley Busby, assistant professor of art history, brought the exhibit to campus, according to Dan Olivetti, the director of the gallery.

Busby has had a relationship with the Georgia Museum of Art in the past and spoke to the backgrounds of the pieces.

According to Olivetti, the most important thing an observer should take away from this exhibit is “the quality of the work that these women have produced.”

“Some of them were born in the 1800s and women had no opportunity for art,” Olivetti said. “If I didn’t have the sign that said ‘Prints by Women,’ then no one would think ‘Oh, this is women’s work,’ they would think, ‘This is really good work.’”

“I think it’s most important to give women who are under- represented a voice,” Olivetti continued.

Three works of the works Busby highlighted were by American women, who are lesser-known artists, while two were by European women.

There were also visual aids and music to accompany some of the paintings.

The gallery was also dimly lit because the museum requested that the lighting be similar to “five foot candlelight” to best display the art works.

The audience was comprised of students and alumni, as well as members of the community.

Sophomore Quinn Evans, who works at the gallery, said, “As a young female artist myself, I’m thrilled to see the meticulous and beautiful work of so many artists, many of whom are from the 19th and 20th century and have not had their work appreciated as much as it should’ve been.”

“There are a couple of prints by women who have become notable individuals in the art world, however,” Evans continued, “Such as Rosa Bonheur and Kathe Kollwitz.”

“I highly encourage everyone to come see this fantastic variety of prints by women, ranging from simple geometric compositions to intricate intaglio images,” Evans said.

Senior Gretchen Hintze said, “I’m always so impressed by how welcoming and professional the art gallery staff are.”

“I always enjoy myself at the openings and look forward to seeing the art,” Hintze continued. “The ‘Prints by Women’ exhibit was especially interesting to me because I think it is imperative to highlight the work done by creative, hard-working women.”

“Busby’s presentation on various pieces was super informative and it was great to see everyone so immersed in learning,” Hintze continued.

The Lore Degenstein Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. when classes are in session. The exhibit will be open until March 4.

Music groups wrap up school year

By Sarah McMillin, Staff Writer 

The Susquehanna Chamber Singers will perform on Friday, Dec. 1 and the Susquehanna Symphonic Band will perform on Saturday, Dec. 2. Both performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Stretansky Concert Hall.

Both the Chamber Singers, conducted by Susquehanna alumnus Christopher Hoster and the Symphonic Band, conducted by associate professor of music Eric Hinton, have performed earlier in the semester, making this their second notable performances of the school year.

The Chamber Singers will sing Heinrich Shutz’s “Historia der Geburt Jesu Christi (Historia of the Birth of Jesus Christ).” The Symphonic Band will play numerous pieces, including Leonard Bernstein’s “Fanfare for the Inauguration of John F. Kennedy” and Guy Woolfenden’s “Firedance.”

Student participants said that getting music prepared and ready for the performances has been a bit of a challenge for both groups.

“It’s been a bit of a crunch,” sophomore clarinetist Charlotte Wood said. “We’ve definitely had to work.”

“Especially with ‘Firedance’ because it’s difficult and fast and has a lot of meter changes,” Wood continued. “We’ve also had a collaborative pianist this time, which was interesting and fun to incorporate.”

Wood also praised the opportunity for music groups to perform multiple times over the course of the year.

“It’s nice to have multiple concerts because we get to show our stuff more and then people know what we do and how hard we work,” Wood said.

Ensemble, composer to perform wintry works

By Danielle Bettendorf, Living & Arts Editor 

String ensemble Turtle Island Quartet and composer Liz Carroll will perform at Susquehanna on Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in Degenstein Center Theater.

The two musicians are the third performance this school year in the Artist Series, after Parsons Dance in September and Nobuntu in November.

Visitors in the Artist Series are selected each year by a committee.

Keelie Schock, the Artist Series manager, said that one of the goals of the series is to highlight internationally acclaimed artists for the Susquehanna and local community.

According to Schock, in featuring these artists, the series works to showcase a diverse range of cultures and types of art in the performers chosen annually.

“Each year highlights a different form of performance art, whether it is music, dance, etc.,” Schock said. “Turtle Island Quartet came to us through one of the artist management agencies we frequently work with.”

Schock noted that Turtle Island Quartet and Carroll perform an innovative type of music, which is why they were chosen for the series.

“Every artist or group of artists we bring to campus has their own unique niche within their field,” Schock said. “Turtle Island Quartet is a fusion of jazz and chamber music, although they explore many world music styles in their work.”

“Their collaboration with Irish fiddler and composer, Liz Carroll, is a great example of how they transcend genres and eras to maintain a strong appeal with audiences,” Schock continued. “Their fearlessness in exploring a variety of styles has earned them two Grammy Awards.”

Schock also praised how much effort the performers selected put into their work.

“The artists themselves always show a dedication to their craft that is above and beyond what one might expect,” Schock said. “They are performers who are willing to break boundaries with their creativity and try what hasn’t been tried before.”

“We consider an event successful if it has provided the audience with the opportunity to see an engaging performance with high artistic integrity,” Schock added.

Turtle Island Quartet was created in 1985 and Carroll has won awards since she was 18 years old.

At the performance in January, the musicians will perform repertoire related to the winter season and various holidays.

According to MySU, the performance will feature “songs of the Celtic winter solstice and yuletide reels from Ireland reside with tunes of Hanukkah, a Hindu spiritual and a Miles Davis holiday classic.” They will also perform “A Love Supreme” by John Coltrane.

Admission is free for Susquehanna students, $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $5 for non-Susquehanna students.

Turn It Up

By Liz Hammond, Digital Media Editor 

It’s about that time to do another editor’s picks again. Last time we did this, even I was surprised by everyone’s picks, but now, I think we have a better grasp of what to expect.

The first person to send in their top five was Kyle Kern, he starts it off with “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” by the Dropkick Murphys. Not really sure why a 21-year-old in college would listen to this, but hey, no judgement.

Next is “Ancient History” by Set It Off: again, a bizarre choice. Hoodie Allen took the third spot with “Ain’t Ready;” I can’t remember Hoodie doing anything significant since “No Interruption” in 2012.

Kyle also decided to put ZZ Top on his list, and again, I’m sitting here wondering if Kyle is actually 21, or if he is actually 50 trapped in a younger body. As if this list couldn’t get any weirder, he decided to add “I’m A Believer,” but the German version covered by Faculty Lounge. I really have no words for this.

Zach Bonner, the assistant news editor, decided to save the reputation of this editorial board by gracing us with five songs that are actually reputable. His list goes as follows: “We Were Wealth” by Wye Oak, “The Body is a Blade” by Japanese Breakfast, “Owl Hoots” by Mimicking Birds, “Saved” by The Dear Hunter and lastly, “Lose It” by Austra.

Our new assistant sports editor, Rachael Cataldo, gave me her list and honestly, it could be worse. She shows a lot of promise with picks like “Gypsy” by Lady Gaga, “Sparks Will Fly” by J. Cole feat. Jhene Aiko and “Beware” by Big Sean feat. Lil Wayne and Jhene Aiko. Her two questionable picks are “Unforgettable” by Thomas Rhett and “Renegade” by Styx. Again, she’s learning and with her first three picks, she shows a lot of promise.

Nick Forbes yet again graces us with his top five and honestly, it’s like I picked them myself. His first pick was “Rockstar” by Post Malone feat. 21 Savage, but with the passing of legend Lil Peep, he decided that in memorial he would put “Awful Things” feat. Lil Tracy instead.

Past that, Nick had “Gu- cci Gang” by Lil Pump, which, shocker, it’s the most viral song of later half of this year. Next is, “Please Shut Up” by A$AP Mob feat. A$AP Rocky, Gucci Mane and key, which is a certified banger. Nick even features Mac Miller with his song “Objects in the Mirror,” which is a song that most people forget about.

Nick’s last song is the one that gets me the most. “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac is a classic and it makes my heart happy to know that I’m not the only college kid who still enjoys this song.

Alex Kurtz, our sports editor, gave me his top five and his list has improved drastically since the last time we did this. On his list was, “Gucci Gang” by Lil Pump, surprise. He said to me that he would put it all five times if he could. Next was “Rockstar” by Post Malone feat. 21 Savage. Then, just like Nick, he added the Lil Peep song “Benz Truck.”

Alex loves Mac Miller, as everyone should. He wakes up to the song “Party on 5th Ave” every morning, so no surprise, it made his list. His last song was “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen:kind of random, but we will go with it, could be worse.

The last person to grace me with their list is living & arts editor Danielle Bettendorf. When I say that her list is bizarre, I’m not kidding. Her list includes “Sexy Can I” by Ray J feat. Yung Berg, “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra, “Havana” by Camila Cabello feat. Young Thug, “Beverly Hills” by Weezer and “Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato. Take a moment for that to sink in. I mean, really, I don’t know where to start. There’s throwbacks and pop hits, but also just a complete classic by ELO. I am amazed by this, Danielle.

My list is one that I’ve had to think about for a while. First on my list is “Caught Their Eyes” by JAY-Z feat. Frank Ocean. I really think that this song speaks for itself: I mean, this pair alone is enough to guarantee a hit song. Next is “Sky Walker” by Miguel feat. Travis Scott. If you aren’t already on to this song, you’re welcome. The rest of my list goes as follows: “Wanted You” by NAV feat. Lil Uzi Vert, “Thinking ‘Bout You” by Dua Lipa, and “Adore” by Amy Shark.

Hope you enjoyed this last edition of editor’s picks: maybe these songs can help you through the stress of finals, but let’s be honest, nothing can help that.

Susquehanna faculty read personal works on self, the earth

By Kelsey Rogers, Asst. Living & Arts Editor

Associate professors of creative writing at Susquehanna gave readings of their newly published works on Nov. 27 in Isaacs Auditorium.

Silas Dent Zobal featured his novel “The People Of The Broken Neck” and Karla Kelsey featured her book of essays “Of Sphere” as part of the Seavey Reading Series hosted by the Writer’s Institute.

Zobal’s “The People Of The Broken Neck” was published in 2016 and depicts the story of a family hiding in the darkness of the woods as the FBI searches their house.

The family is suddenly on the run, providing readers with perspectives from both the father and the detective in the criminal investigation.

After reading fragments of the novel, Zobal read an essay that was originally supposed to be about craft.

“I really don’t like craft essays,” Zobal said. “So it’s mostly about me.”

Zobal’s essay “On The Impoverished World” displays the many obstacles a young Zobal encounters while growing up

in poverty with his younger brother. Being raised in such a rough upbringing has led this boy to not give his all in other elements of his life and hold onto things until the very last moment, according to Zobal.

“Be generous. Give of yourself. Breathe deeply. Have faith,” Zobal said in his essay when explaining advice the narrator would give to his former self.

Zobal also read a snippet from Sylvia Plath’s “Stings” as a connection to his hobby of beekeeping.

Zobal is a recipient of the Glimmer Train Fiction Open and a scholar at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He has also received a fiction fellow- ship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Zobal’s short story collection “The Inconvenience of the Wings” received a Kirkus Star for experimental merit. His other short stories have appeared in publications such as The Missouri Review, Glimmer Train, New Orleans Re- view and Shenandoah.

Raised in Rockford, Illinois, Zobal earned a bachelor’s degree in English from DePaul University and a master’s degree from the University of

Washington. He also earned a doctorate from Binghamton University.

Kelsey’s “Of Sphere” was published on Nov. 1 and features essays and lyrical prose from multiple spheres.

“Its organized along the different spheres of earth,” Kelsey said. “I added a fifth sphere, celestial sphere, which goes beyond the earth.”

Kelsey read a section called “the Celestial Sphere,” but began with reading the notes that coincide with each sphere before leading into the prose.

“Of Sphere” uses sculptures or locations that Kelsey has seen and derives a story from them, focusing on how the story sounds to the reader and the emotions that they feel.

According to Kelsey’s website, “Of Sphere” provides a form of theater where the writer has limited agency, which then prompted her to use various techniques of imagination and research.

Kelsey said her work in this specific genre looks to the traditions of lyric essay, philosophical meditation, poetics and review criticism.

Along with her most recent publication, Kelsey has published three full length books: “Knowledge,” “Forms, the Aviary; Iteration Nets;” and “A Conjoined Book.”

Kelsey has also published three chapbooks: “Little Dividing Doors in the Mind,” “Into the Eyes of Lost Storms” and “3 Movements.”

Kelsey is a recipient of the Fulbright lectureship and has taught creative writing along with American literature in Budapest.

Kelsey is also an editor for The Constant Critic, an online publication which features poetry reviews.

Kelsey received bachelor’s degrees from the University of California in literature and philosophy and a master’s degree from the University of Iowa, where she was a teaching-writing fellow. She also received her doctorate from the University of Denver.

Associate professor of English and creative writing, Glen Retief said that when he began interviewing to work at Susquehanna, he immediately felt the seriousness of his colleagues.

“They were committed to writing. They wrote regularly. They published regularly,” Retief said. “I admired them so much, and I still do today.”

First-year Madison Blackwell said the readings helped her connect more with the authors.

“I didn’t know what to epect from Silas, but I really en- joyed his. I don’t have him as a professor yet so now I’m even more excited to have him as a professor,” Blackwell said. “I have Karla for intro to poetry and it just made me so much more appreciative.”

The next installment of the Seavey Reading series will feature Aminatta Forna on Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Isaacs Auditorium.

Student-directed plays to feature in annual theatre department showcase

By Sam Miller, Staff Writer

A showcase of short theatrical “one act” pieces will be held on Thursday, Dec. 7 and Friday, Dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m. in Degenstein Center Theater.

There will be six total performances held during the showcase, which are directed and performed by students.

The showcase takes place each year during the fall semester as a way for students to showcase what they have learned in their directing class.

Each senior in the class is responsible for directing a one act play with two actors and fostering the creative process, from auditions, rehearsals and performances, under the guidance of Laura Dougherty, a visiting professor of theater.

The class is composed of Violeta Migirov, Hannah Paley, Rebekah Krumenacker, Abby Conway, Marisa Cedeno and Katherine Cardenas.

Dougherty is filling in for Doug Powers and previously worked at Winthrop University, Arizona State University and Illinois State University.

Student actors who will perform in the showcase are senior Maddie Tavarez, juniors Daniel Reynolds, Abby Dawes, Matt Sharrock and Kemah Armes, sophomores Kelsey Dowling, Brian Herrman, Nolan Nightingale and Nick Cardillo and first-years Morgan Wallace, Kyle Carey and Dalia Hamilton.

“In this showcase, I will be playing Jason in Anna Ziegler’s play, ‘Ron Swoboda’s Wish,’” Dowling said.

Dowling added that they have gained new knowledge from practicing for the showcase this semester.

“In this showcase I have really learned how to be comfortable in periods of silence,” Dowling said. “Brian and I share these really beautiful and vulnerable moments of silence together that you rarely get to have with other performers.”

Compared to other theatrical performances on campus, Dowling noted the wide range of topics covered in the plays that were chosen.

“This showcase is different, I think, because of the wide variety of content dis- cussed across the selection of plays being performed,” Dowling said. “What’s great about the directing showcase is that you get to collaborate with your friends in ways that you wouldn’t otherwise on the main stage.”

“For instance, I’ve never had the chance to work so intimately with Brian or Rebekah, but thanks to the directing showcase, I’ve been honored to work and learn with them both,” Dowling added.

Dowling said they hope those who come to the showcase approach the plays with no reservations.

“I hope attendees come to the performances with an open mind and are excited to see the

variety of acting and directing styles that our department features,”

Junior Caitlin Barnes, who is working as a stage manager for the showcase, said, “I’ve been an actor before and this is my second time stage managing the showcase. It has been an amazing experience.”

“[The students] have put [in] so much time and effort and it’s always great to see where their creativity takes them,” Barnes continued.

The showcase will be open to the public free of charge.

The Student Directing Showcase is a part of the second stage season, which also includes the experimental acting workshop production, the 24-Hour Play Festival and the Shakespeare Club production.

The main stage season includes the fall musical, the advanced acting workshop production, the student-directed play and the spring production.

This year, the main stage sea- son productions include “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” by Sarah Ruhl, “She Loves Me” by Joe Masteroff, Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock, “The Mineola Twins” by Paula Vogel and “Blue Stockings” by Jessica Swale.

The second stage season productions include “Saudi Scenes” by senior Faisal Al Yousif, “She Kills Monsters” by Qui Nguyen and “Topdog/ Underdog” by Suzan Lori- Parks. There will also be “A Night on Broadway” Cabaret Show in the spring.

SU student ensembles perform ‘fun, light-hearted’ repertoire

By Darian Rahnis, Staff Writer 

The music department hosted a chamber music re- cital featuring select student instrumentalists on Nov. 29 in Stretansky Concert Hall.

The students who participated included senior Dylan Little on trumpet, juniors Rachel Daku on tenor saxophone, Emma Mooradian on alto saxophone, Benjamin Nylander on piano and Rosemary Butterly on clarinet, sophomores Melanie Sonatore on alto saxophone, Briana Heinly and Madeline Birk on violin, Ronnell Hodges on viola and sophomore Victoria Meneses on cello and first-years Kirby Leitz on alto saxophone and Jenny Morris on baritone saxophone.

Associate professors of music Gail Levinsky and Jennifer Sacher Wiley helped prepare the students for the recital, who were divided amongst three small ensembles.

Three pieces consisting of multiple movements were performed at the recital.

The groups performed “Scherzo for Saxophone Quartet” by Warren Barker, “Suite for Alto Saxophone, Trumpet, and Piano” by Seymour Barab and “Clarinet Quintet in A” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Morris, who was a member of a saxophone ensemble, said the group gave a successful performance.

“We all stopped and just smiled, so that’s always a good thing,” Morris said. “We were also able to get some things that we hadn’t gotten before, so that was good.”

Morris also said that while they gave a good performance, she also said she knows there is room for improvement.

“There are always things that need to be worked on, but for this performance it was really good,” Morris continued. “I think we’re all looking forward to the next piece that Levinsky will assign us.”

Morris explained that they prepared for the concert by hav- ing rehearsals every Monday night throughout this semester, while occasionally adding in some rehearsals on Thursdays.

“The reason it takes so many rehearsals is because we don’t have a conductor,” Morris said. “It’s very much us relying on each other and looking at each other and interacting with each other in a small chamber ensemble.”

Morris believes that she and her fellow ensemble members work well together.

“Everyone has their days that we’re just sort of down, but sometimes we’ll just put down our saxophones and do jumping jacks for a little bit,” Morris said. “Yeah, that’s a thing.”

In terms of the audience, Morris hoped they would have enjoyed themselves and the relaxed atmosphere.

“Our piece was written by the same guy that wrote the ‘Bewitched’ theme,” Morris said. “It was a very sort of fun and light-hearted piece that was just sort of goofy.”

First-year Alison Erwin said, “I loved the string ensemble at the end.”

“It was really good,” Erwin continued. “I love Mozart, so I really appreciated the last one.”

Erwin would encourage people to go to more concerts in the future and said that she would go even if she was not a music major because they are fun and a good time.

“They’re a good way to calm down when you’re stressed out about school,” Erwin said. “If you’re a music major, it’s fun and you get a forum credit.”

The chamber music recital is one of the last music perfor- mances this semester.

On Friday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m., the Chamber Singers will perform a concert conducted by Susquehanna alumnus Christopher Hoster.

On Saturday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m., the Symphonic Band will perform a concert conducted by associate professor of music Eric Hinton.

Both performances will take place in Stretansky Concert Hall.

University Orchestra to play operatic repertoire

By Sarah McMillin, Staff Writer 

The University Orchestra will be performing their first full concert of the year on Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Stretansky Concert Hall.

The orchestra, conducted by Gregory Grabowski, associate professor of music, will perform works from various operas. Corrine Byrne, associate professor of music, will also accompany the orchestra as a soprano.

In the first half of the concert, the orchestra will per- form “Danse Bacchanale” from “Samson and Delilah” by Camile Saint-Saens.

“It’s really exciting,” Grabowski said. “This is one of those [pieces] that I knew was going to challenge my group technically, but they were going to have a really good time doing it.”

The three arias that will be performed next by both the orchestra and Byrne are “Ah, Je veux vivre” from “Romeo et Juiliette” by Charles Gounod, “O mio babbino caro” from “Gianni Schicchi” by Giacomo Puccini and “Spiel ich die Unschuld vom Lande” from “Die Fledermaus” by Johann Strauss Jr.

Grabowski said he wanted to feature Byrne during this concert as it was the first orchestra concert of the year, as well as her first semester teaching music at Susquehanna.

Grabowski said, “It’s a really great opportunity for the members in the orchestra to be able to perform these pieces that give Byrne a chance to really shine and show off.”

From this, Grabowski came up with the theme of opera for the concert.

In the second half of the concert, the orchestra will per- form Georges Bizet’s “Carmen Suite No. 1 and 2.”

The numbers will be per- formed in the order of the op- era and as the work goes on, there will be a screen with subtitles providing the narrative of the opera.

For the last piece of the concert, the “Finale” from “Carmen,” Grabowski rearranged the music to completely tell the story of the opera and its final tragedy.

Grabowski said he thought a lot about where the story was going and how best to end the concert while rearranging the ending piece.

For many members of the orchestra, this is their first time performing in a collegiate-level orchestra.

However, Grabowski said that rather than being scared, students are stepping up to the challenge.

“It really bodes well for the next couple [of] years,” Grabowski added.

“This is going to be a fun concert,” Grabowski said. “I’m really excited about the music that were doing.”

“There isn’t a piece that is in this concert that I dislike,” Grabowski said. “Especially with the new president who has been so supportive of us, this is a really exciting time for all of us right now.”

Turn It Up

By Danielle Bettendorf, Living & Arts Editor 

As the semester wraps up, more and more of us are finding ourselves buried in work before we leave for break. For the second to last issue, I’ll be taking over from Liz this week to re- view the current top 10 songs in the Billboard Hot 100.

“rockstar” by Post Malone feat. 21 Savage is the current top hit in the country. Post Malone, who is well-known for his last big hit, “Congratulations,” revisits the themes of stardom in the first single from his next album, “Beerbongs and Bentleys.”

“rockstar” runs through the archetypal “sex, drugs and rock and roll” lifestyle of a star, as Post Malone lays his lyrics over a chill backing beat. The high life lyrics contrasted with the lowkey flow make for a endlessly catchy song, so it’s no surprise that this has been the number one song in the country since late October.

Next is “Havana” by Camila Cabello feat. Young Thug, which is a smooth tribute to Cabello’s Cuban background. While this is not her first song after leaving Fifth Harmony, Cabello takes on a mature sound in “Havana” that was not present in earlier works, such as “I Know What You Did Last Summer” or “Bad Things.” If Cabello’s style continues to strengthen, she’ll be able to prove that she can hold a solo career without the group that made her famous.

Number three is “Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B, which has become iconic at this point. Cardi B goes hard and includes unapologetic bars that show that while this is her first big hit, she isn’t one to dismiss.

This is especially true with the lack of popular female rappers in the game right now – Cardi B has widely been compared to Nicki Minaj, although the two have dismissed allegations of a feud. If Cardi B continues to be as hard-hitting as she is in “Bodak Yellow,” then all eyes should be on the rapper for the future.

Next is “Too Good at Good- byes” by Sam Smith, which is the lead single from his second album, “The Thrill of It All.” Smith continues to include raw themes in his songs and here ad- dresses the feeling of being left by someone. As with previous songs, Smith opens his heart and taps into a feeling that many of us have experienced, but do not want to admit. Smith isn’t surprised that he has had his heart broken again and has to protect himself, but there’s something resigned and relatable about how Smith recognizes his situation.

Rounding out the top half of the top 10, we have “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons, which has a light, poppy feel that’s really reminiscent of their previous works. Imagine Dragons is recognizable for their multiple hits and that is no different with this new song which tackles the idea of overcoming obstacles with a bouncy backing beat.

At number six is “1-800-273- 8255” by Logic feat. Alessia Cara and Khalid, which has been on the charts since this past summer. The name of the song is the phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, which saw an increased rate in calls after the song was released.

The song is raw and speaks deeply to those who have struggled with mental illness and feel- ing “good enough.” While the beginning of the song starts with a feeling of hopelessness, it transitions into support as the song goes on and encourages hope in the face of adversity.

Next is “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man, which is a bop top to bottom. With a strong beat, groovy instrumentals and airy vocals, this is a classic anywhere, be it in the middle of a party or driving in your car.

“Perfect” by Ed Sheeran is number eight, which is a ballad in the passionate style that Sheeran is known for. Fans of the singer will find familiar themes in the song, from the longevity of love in “Thinking Out Loud” to praising imperfections in One Direction’s “Little Things,” which Sheeran co-wrote.

Second to last is “What Lovers Do” by Maroon 5 feat. SZA, which combines styles from both Maroon 5, who is known for their perennial pop hits and SZA, who made headlines this year with her debut R&B album, “Ctrl.” Fans of both artists can appreciate this smooth collaboration that touches on romance.

Last on the list is “Mi Gente” by J Balvin and Willy William feat. Beyonce, which is sung in Spanish and features a captivating techno beat throughout. Even after you turn the song off, the beat sticks in your head – so there’s no guessing why the song is so popular.