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Called Up to the Majors

11/6/2012

The Red Sox may have had a pretty poor showing this year, but two Brooks alums will be looking back on this season at Fenway with only happy memories.

Rachael Burke ’10 and Nicole Muto-Graves ’11 might still be Red Sox fans at heart, but they’ve got a newfound love of the Toronto Blue Jays.

It was the Blue Jays that brought the two women to Fenway earlier this fall, and helped create a special memory for both of them.

Burke and Muto-Graves are members of Trinity College’s youngest female a cappella group, The Quirks. The ensemble was invited to sing the Canadian national anthem, O Canada, before the Red Sox faced off against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.

“This was one of the most surreal moments of my life!” said Muto-Graves, a sophomore at Trinity. “It didn’t really hit any of us until we drove past Fenway to look for parking and then realized we would soon be getting in touch with our Canadian side before 40,000 people!”

The group found out they’d been invited just two weeks prior to the game, so that left little time in their busy colleges schedules for rehearsals, but they knew they wanted to do the anthem justice.

“The Canadian national anthem is really beautiful. The Quirks rehearsed a lot beforehand, so we really had no nerves when singing it,” said Burke, in her junior year at Trinity. The only tough thing, she said, was that the Fenway speaker runs on a 10-second delay, so the girls couldn’t hear themselves until about five or 10 seconds after. “We managed, though!”

Muto-Graves is the group’s musical director, and in one night, she created what Burke calls “an incredible a cappella arrangement” of O Canada.

“I sat up in my room at home [Boxford, Mass.] for a couple hours to learn and arrange the song and sent it out to the rest of The Quirks. They were so great, and learned it on their own time so that we were able to pull together as soon as we arrived at school to run through it all together,” said Muto-Graves. “As soon as I heard them, all my nerves disappeared.”

Both girls sang in different groups here on campus during their years at Brooks, such as the Serendipities a capella group and rock band. They also performed in events such as the school’s annual Brooksstock concert. As a lifelong Red Sox fan, Burke said she was thrilled with the chance to step out onto the field at Fenway. “I couldn’t believe I was on the field, and I also could not believe just how many people were listening to us — apparently we were on NESN, too!” said Burke.

An added thrill? Seeing some Sox players up close. “Dustin Pedroia was playing catch right next to us when we walked onto the field for the first time!” said Burke.

As The Quirks waited next to The Baker’s Dozen, Yale’s male a cappella group, “all of a sudden we noticed players stretching on the field. We were also able to see the first two pitches right up close,” said Muto-Graves. The singers also got complimentary tickets to see the game, which, unfortunately for the Sox, ended in a loss, 3-4, to Toronto.

Want to learn more? To read and hear more from Burke, Muto-Graves and the rest of The Quirks, click here.