Saint Mary’s own Oldie Moldie All-Stars continue to uphold its tradition of music and entertainment through performing for Saint Mary’s students and alumni alike.
The Oldie Moldie All-Stars is an old-school cover band that is comprised of eleven brothers of the Eta Nu chapter of Phi Mu Alpha fraternity of Saint Mary’s. Often nicknamed “Oldies” for short, the band hosts a series of concerts throughout the school year, mostly on campus but occasionally found throughout the city of Winona. Their performances combine classic songs from the 1970s with flair and dance moves from the 2010s. Their next performance will take place on Nov. 9 and 10, as part of the Blue Angel fall concert and tickets will be available to purchase within the week.
Although the band shares a spunky name with flashy red jackets, the background behind Oldies extends deep within Saint Mary’s, stretching all the way back to their first concert in 1970. This band of brothers, laced with tradition, attracts a multitude of viewers, ranging from the first-year students of now to the graduated alumni, parents, and grandparents that have come before.
To Abram Whitebird (‘18), the perfect timing of the Oldies’ concert during Saint Mary’s Family Weekend reminded him of his time in the band before he graduated in May of 2018. Whitebird, Eta Nu’s President from 2017 to 2018, was finally free to dance on the floor instead of playing on the stage with the other brothers within the fraternity. After being a member of the Oldie Moldie All-Stars for three years, Whitebird was able to join the crowd alongside another Oldie Moldie alumnus, Jared Ferk (‘18).
He noted that although playing trombone for his three-year tenure was something that he thoroughly enjoyed and a top Saint Mary’s memory, there was a sense of nostalgia in being able to witness the band from the floor instead of playing along on the stage- a feeling that he had not felt since 2014.
“It made me think of being a freshman and seeing them at signatures. I went with Jared [Ferk] and cheered them on way back then. I just love watching the Oldies perform.”
Ferk, who is now married and a father of one, jumped up and down in front of the band to The Searcher’s song Love Potion No. 9, all the while trying to balance his child in his arms. Although he had graduated, Ferk’s love for music and his attachment to the tradition of Oldies still resonated within him.
“I love the music and I love the energy on stage,” Whitebird remarked. “They look as though they have more reasons to play. I hope that when me and my pledge brothers come back to campus in 15 years, the Oldies will still be playing.”
The Oldie Moldie All-Stars practiced for lengthy amounts of time before going on stage, having to perfect their pieces. Some members of the band have experience under the red jackets, but others have joined Oldies for the first time this year, such as Directing for Musical Theater major Liam Hahn (‘19).
“Being a part of Oldies is such a great experience,” Hahn said. “I get to perform and bring joy to the people, and I love the feeling that I am holding up tradition. Oldies has been around for a long time, almost 50 years, and the fact that I get to help it going is awesome. It is like I’m following in my Fraternal Father’s’ footsteps by being a part of it.”
Although full of young and eager college students of 2018, the Oldie Moldie All-Stars merit the legacy that has been upheld for nearly a half-century throughout the campus. Honoring a tradition built upon advancing music in America, Hahn noted that this generation of Oldie Moldies keeps in mind those who have come before them.