Wing Night gives student singers a stage

“Music is basically my whole life, in all honesty,” Thomas Faye, senior biblical ministries major, said. “I’ve been singing for 19 years. It’s always been a part of me… it’s just so amazing how music can express so much emotion and express so much more than just regular words.”

Music has deeply impacted the lives of several students here at Waynesburg University. Events like Wing Night this past Saturday offer opportunities for students to share their music.

Thomas Faye, Heidi Dziak, Harrison Scott, Emma Herrle, Andrea Mellinger and Andrew Gordon all performed last Saturday.

Faye had just performed with Dziak a couple weeks prior at Redemption Stories coffeehouse, and savors every chance he has to express himself through music.

Madison Strunk, For The Yellow Jacket

“It was so fun being on stage with Heidi and singing with her,” Faye said. 

Andrea Mellinger, junior environmental science major, performed with Emma Herrle, sophomore communication major. Mellinger said the pairing of best friends is always a perfect match.

“Emma is one of my best friends; she is a light to my life and whenever we were asked to do this, we instantly wanted to do it together,” Mellinger said.

The blending of their voices is almost perfect, Mellinger said, so performing together is always completely natural and has grown their relationship.

“Emma just brings me so much joy and she shows me the Lord’s love with music and being with me,” Mellinger said. 

Mellinger won WU’s Got Talent last year. She also participated in the Willison Talent Show that had taken place this fall, the Lamplighter’s Touring choir, as well as singing in her church’s worship team. These opportunities have given Mellinger the chance to find her identity through her music.

“Winning last year [WU’s Got Talent] was really cool because that was my first time singing basically by myself in front of a crowd, and that was when I was able to gain my confidence and I truly knew I was given a gift from God,” Mellinger explained. “Singing, finding who I am, finding my talents in the Lord and what He’s given me– that’s really special and it’s very personal to me. It’s given me an amazing sense of love for myself that I now understand what my gifts are.”

Mellinger enjoyed their rendition of Royals by Lorde the most out of their setlist– especially because of their unique added lyrical twist.

“We were so excited about that song because we made a parody of it,” Mellinger said. 

Lyrics included: And everybody’s like wing night, chacos, charter day chicken, hammocks, hiking, Larry Stratton, no AC, and our good friend Chuck Bailey. Sting’em, spikeball, where’s my Nalgene? That’s so Waynesburg, squirrels in hoodies, Josh Sumpty and let’s go WU Footy!

“It took us a long time to put that together,” Mellinger said.

Andrew Gordon, sophomore biochemistry major and Mellinger’s boyfriend, had a special surprise for Mellinger. Though his setlist consisted mostly of worship tunes, he saved a special love song for her. However; they both chose the same song– Love Someone by Lukas Graham.

“I was actually looking forward to singing that one because that’s what I was going to sing for Andrea, but we realized that we picked the exact same song like ten minutes before the set,” Gordon said. “I didn’t see it coming but I should’ve known, she loves that song that’s why I picked it. So I picked my second favorite: ‘Your Song’ by Elton John.”

Mellinger was thunderstruck.

“I didn’t know that he was going to sing any of those songs. I get lost and feel like I’m the only one in the room, and I feel like I’m the only person that lives on earth and so then I get all these butterflies in my stomach and sit there and look at him,” Mellinger said. “I love him so much.”

It was also important to Gordon that he had songs that pointed back to God and that meant something to his heart personally.

“How He Loves” by David Crowder was my favorite part of the set because it means so much to me. I’ve also known the Colton Dixon song since eighth grade and it [worship] really was a defining part of my performance,” Gordon said.

Madison Strunk, For The Yellow Jacket

Though Gordon was nervous going into the night, he appreciated the outcome and the opportunity to connect through the mutual love of music.

“I honestly had so much more fun than I anticipated going into it, because you know, I was super nervous, but as it went on I was like… I would love to do this over and over again,” Gordon said. “I’m just so glad that people had so many amazing things to say; I was super humbled. It was nice to be up there in front of my friends and get all that love and support and just sing my heart out and have fun.”