Compulsive Lyres

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Compulsive Lyres
The Compulsive Lyres of Winter 2010
Background information
Origin University of Michigan
Genres A cappella
Years active 1997–present
Members Perc
Emma Carter '21

Francesca Napolitano '19
Mikaela Koelzer '19
Maddy Sharp '20
Sydney Vollmar '21

Hannah Shuman '18
Becca Polinsky '19
Kate Anderson '20
Maddie Lane '21
Kate Kachmer '21

Trevor De Sibour '18
Sawyer Denton '19
George Davidson '19
Graham Sell '20

Justin Sherman '20
Sam Ward '20
James Squillante '21

Demetrius Markham '20
Matthew MacPhail '21

The Compulsive Lyres is an a cappella group at the University of Michigan. The group comprises both music and non-music majors and sings various arrangements of rock, jazz, pop, and R&B songs.

The Compulsive Lyres won the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA)[1] in 2002, and remain the first and only Michigan group to win that honor. Following their win, the Lyres were invited to perform on The Today Show with Matt Lauer, and were featured on the Best of College A Cappella album.[2]

Recently, the Lyres have found success with a series of performances they call "Friday Shows" [3] - performing a free show every Friday around the campus of the University of Michigan.


The Early Lyres[edit]

The Compulsive Lyres began as an outgrowth of a Greek Week sing team. In the Spring of 1997, the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and Alpha Phi Sorority became the first sing team in the history of Greek Week to receive a perfect score. That following summer students decided that the experience was so much fun and the result so successful that it would be worth a try to keep the group going as an a cappella group. In the fall of 1997, the a cappella group of the University of Michigan Greek System met for the first time under the name Greek to Mi.

In its first year, the group had many hurdles to overcome. The initial group was un-auditioned - any member of the 1997 sing team was welcome. It was quickly discovered that both the level of commitment and musical ability needed for an a cappella group was substantially different from the level needed for Greek Week. In January 1998, the group was reorganized and auditions were held. By the end of the auditions, the group had 14 members from 10 different fraternities and sororities and had changed its name to "Compulsive Lyres". Although the level of dedication and overall musical ability was increased after the reorganization, the group's purpose remained primarily social in nature - music was a clear second. Those who came looking for friendship and camaraderie found plenty - the early group resulted in great friendships and even one marriage(!), but those who came seeking a serious devotion to a cappella music were often disappointed.

In January 2001, the group decided that they were going to take the Lyres in a new direction. The Lyres severed their formal association with the Greek system, opening the audition process to the entire campus. With musical excellence as the primary goal, Lyres searched out new members. Through the summer, the group prepared for what was to be the ultimate test - if the group actually dedicated a year to musical excellence, would they be able to succeed?

The answer was a resounding yes. In the fall of 2001, Lyres worked hard and reaped the benefits. Auditions resulted in an extremely strong collection of musicians, and a fall retreat brought the group closer than it had ever been, so close, in fact, that retreats are still an integral part of the Lyres experience today. Their fall concert, the 1st Annual Michigan A Cappella Festival, was a huge success, featuring 9 of the 12 active groups on campus over two nights. In its first year, MAC-Fest, as it came to be called, became the largest a cappella show of the year at The University of Michigan. As noted earlier, the Lyres largest success came in 2002, with their victory at the International Finals of the ICCAs, establishing the Lyres as a new power in the Michigan A Cappella community.

Recent History[edit]

Since their 2002 ICCA championship, the Lyres have continued to thrive as an a cappella group on campus. In particular, the Lyres have also begun a series of new traditions, showing that their innovative, driving presence in the a cappella community is as strong as ever. For one, the Lyres have begun to perform at bigger and better events. Not only have the Lyres become involved with Michigan Athletics, singing the national anthem at a variety of sporting events, but they have also opened for a number of notable recording artists, like Ben Folds. Also, the Lyres have recently begun releasing a short film with at their Fall Semester concert - last year, they spoofed the Harry Potter Series, releasing "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Lyres." They are the only Michigan group to have such a tradition.

In 2012, the Lyres competed in the ICCA once again, attempting to become just the third group in collegiate a cappella history to win the ICCA title twice. They plan to compete in the competition every other school year.


Current Semester[edit]

Song Original Artist Arranged By Soloist(s)
How Long Charlie Puth Graham Sell Graham Sell
Scared to Be Lonely Martin Garrix feat. Dua Lipa Emma Carter Kate Kachmer
Bloodflood Pt. II alt-J Sawyer Denton James Squillante
Homemade Dynamite Lorde Trevor de Sibour Sydney Vollmar
Dark Necessities Red Hot Chili Peppers George Davidson Graham Sell
Technicolor Beat Oh Wonder Graham Sell Sam Ward, Maddy Sharp
Street Corner Symphony Rob Thomas Justin Sherman Maddy Sharp
I Can't Make You Love Me Bonnie Raitt Sawyer Denton Mikaela Koelzer
Ring Off Beyonce Evan Kolm, Andrew Callahan Maddie Lane
Landslide Fleetwood Mac Hannah Shuman Hannah Shuman
Can't Take My Eyes Off of You Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons Andrew Callahan George Davidson, Maddie Lane
While My Guitar Gently Weeps The Beatles Sawyer Denton Graham Sell
Diamonds Rihanna Francesca Napolitano Maddy Sharp, Hannah Shuman
Love Never Felt So Good Michael Jackson feat. Justin Timberlake Sawyer Denton Justin Sherman


Song Original Artist
Sweet Caroline Neil Diamond
Superstition Stevie Wonder
Let It Be The Beatles
Yellow and Blue / Hail To The Victors University of Michigan
The Star Spangled Banner Francis Scott Key


"Song Title" - Original Artist (Year Retired)

Current Officers[edit]

Executive Committee[edit]

Office Current Officer
Music Director Sawyer Denton
Music Director Francesca Napolitano
Assistant Music Director Emma Carter
President Becca Polinsky
Business Manager Sam Ward
Secretary Maddie Lane
Publicity Manager Kate Kachmer


  • '18 Graduating Seniors

Hannah Shuman
Trevor de Sibour

  • '17 Graduating Seniors

Andrew Callahan
Jordan McKay
Jenna Funsten
Sierra Bain

  • '16 Graduating Seniors

Alex Quinlan
Brendan Stafford
Addison Thalhamer
Kelly Christensen

  • '15 Graduating Seniors

Jessica Borison
Chris Yu
Georgina Menegas

  • '14 Graduating Seniors

Charlie Frank
Emilio Mateo
Megan Blouin

  • '13 Graduating Seniors

Josh Buoy('09-'13)
Lisa Elder('09-'13)
Meredith Finch('09-'13)
Christian Keil('09-'13)

  • '12 Graduating Seniors

Lee Gunderson(-'12)
Emily Byl(-'12)
Lauren Rink(-'12)

  • '11 Graduating Seniors

Melissa Nestor (-'11)
Kyle Ogunbase ('10-'11)
Ryan Deleon (-'11)
Alexa Lord (-'11)
Derek Kauserud ('08-'10)

  • '10 Graduating Seniors

Benny Lee ('07-'10)
Karol Kobylecki ('08-'10)
Josh Strazanac ('10)

  • '09 Graduating Seniors

Kat Weber (-'11)

  • Earlier Alumni

Rob DeLeon
Jesse Nager
Krista Luli
James Lee
John David Carson
Rob Ungar
Brianna Sarr
Trisha Alberts
Susan Dailey
Daniel Confer
Mary Claire Olsheskie
Christine DeLeon
Mary Sabin
Dan Hartley
John McLaughlin
Kevin Morgan
Stuart Naylor
Lincoln Gillett
Aaron Suh
Nathan Suh
Mark Surprenant
Melissa Swain
Kristin Cibik
List Incomplete


The Compulsive Lyres have recorded one studio album, and expect to release their second album in the summer of 2011.

12 Step Program[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Beautiful Oblivion" Elida Young 3:22
2. "Torn" Natalie Imbruglia 4:05
3. "Africa" Toto 4:58
4. "Stay" Dave Matthews 3:12
5. "Limp" Fiona Apple 3:12
6. "Hard To Say I'm Sorry" Chicago 3:06
7. "Hands Clean" Alanis Morissette 3:52
8. "It's Not Easy To Be Me" David Gray 3:29
9. "Devil Went Down To Georgia" Charlie Daniels 3:40
10. "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" Judy Garland 3:30
11. "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" U2 5:41
12. "That Lonesome Road" James Taylor 3:01


External links[edit]