The letters Y and J were cast in blue light as the Yellowjackets walked across the stage last Saturday, three of them wearing their yellow blazers for their last performance in Strong Auditorium.

“At the very least, me and two others got very emotional during the senior song,” senior member Luke Metzler said. “The YellowJackets have been a constant since my first week on campus, it’s been a huge part of my college experience. It’s like the end of an era.”

This era began during the fall of Metzler’s freshman year, when he first made it into the group. His close relationship with the other members grew during his sister Hannah Metzler’s battle with brain cancer, when the YellowJackets decided to show their support by serenading her and the rest of her hospital wing. And, they performed in the Crush Cancer Concerts, an idea from Hannah Metzler as a way to to raise funds for various local cancer related organizations.

With Hannah’s death in the spring of 2014, her family created the Hannah Metzler Memorial Fund.

Now, two years after her passing, the YellowJackets approached Metzler with the idea of donating all concert proceeds to the Hannah Metzler Memorial Fund. This spring concert was estimated to have brought in approximately $5,000.

“I was blown away by that,” Metzler said. “It was an unbelievable gesture. It was my senior show and for this cause that my sister was so close to. It was a huge remembrance of my sister by the people I call my brothers.”

The YellowJackets were accompanied in this philanthropic performance by Tufts University’s Beelzebubs.

“The YellowJackets reached out to me probably a month ago and asked that we come to this great event, and we really couldn’t turn it down,” said Tufts sophomore and Beelzebubs Business Manager Davis Franklin. “Obviously Rochester’s out of the way, but we really wanted to come out and support the YellowJackets.”

The Beelzebubs were founded in 1963 and are one of the oldest all-male a cappella groups in the country. Each year, they alternate between performing across the U.S. or touring abroad. The Beelzebubs’ past includes performing for U.S. presidents, receiving more than 30 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards nominations, and recently playing the part of the Warblers on “Glee.”

“We’re just super glad we got to come out here and sing with you guys,” said Tufts sophomore and Beelzebub Marketing Director Taylor Ampatiellos. “We know it’s a very special charity, we’re very very honored that we got asked to come.”

The performance also featured younger members of the team giving speeches to the graduating seniors.

“When I picture who the YellowJackets are and who I want the group to be,” freshman and Assistant Music Director James Fosburgh said. “I picture Josh [referring to graduating senior Josh Huang].”

Memories of this spring’s graduating YellowJackets are featured in their most recent music video, a cover of Justin Bieber’s “Sorry.” The video, which was shown at the performance, has more than 10,000 hits on YouTube, as of April 5.

Closing senior songs included a piece by Metzler, which he wrote in honor of his sister.

“The concert was an unbelievable tribute to my sister,” Metzler said. “Honestly, I reeled.”

The YellowJackets will be performing next at the third Crush Cancer Concert at Fairport High School on Saturday, April 23.

Tagged: YellowJackets


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