Evan and David Schroeder are more than just identical twins. Together, they compose and perform original music weekly at Mass.
If singing counts as praying twice, these identical twins have sent up more prayers than they can count.
Evan and David Schroeder have added their musical talents to the dedicated group of young singers and instrumentalists who perform at Butler Catholic Community Mass every Sunday in the Johnson Room in Robertson Hall.
During Mass, Evan plays piano, and David plays guitar with freshman Brendon Holl.
The twins have been performing sacred music for years. Before coming to Butler last fall, they played every other week for a congregation in Richmond as part of a folk group.
They said the experience taught them a lot about improvisation techniques, since they would often see the music for the first time only minutes before actually playing.
The Butler Catholic Community musicians, Evan said, are much more organized, with sophomore Alaina Bartkowiak sending music by email a few days in advance.
They said improvisation is still an important part of their performance, however.
Rev. Jeff Godecker said that one of the most important parts of a successful liturgy is music that engages the congregation.
Describing the Schroeder twins and their contributions, he smiled widely and said, “[They’re] awesome, and I don’t use that word very often.”
Evan also composed a mass in addition to playing piano for the liturgy.
Evan’s mass, tentatively called “Mass of Royalty,” reflects the recent changes in church liturgy, and while it resembles other modern settings, it contains colorful harmonies and is a refreshing and engaging work.
Evan, a recording industry studies and business finance major, said he has future sacred music ambitions.
“I hope to set psalms and maybe another mass someday,” he said.
Evan’s mass is further brought to life by the inspired guitar playing of David, a music education major. Full of tasteful melodic embellishment, David’s playing is agile.
On top of the Schroeders’ and Holl’s contributions, the music was enhanced by the choir and other instrumentalists.
Evan said that it is very important for the Butler community to know that the musicians of the Butler Catholic Community can always use more voices or instruments.
“The more the merrier,” he said.
The twins describe their relationship as very close, as may be expected from brothers who differ in appearance only by a haircut.
“We switched instruments in high school, just to see if our director could tell the difference,” David said.
Describing how people might tell him apart from his brother, David smiled and said, “I’m better looking.”
They had no intentions of picking the same school— (in fact, David said he wanted to go somewhere different than his brother)— and visited different colleges on different days. In the end, they both ended up choosing Butler.
And this choice turned out to benefit the Butler Catholic Community, for these two men embody Godecker’s homily on Sunday: God works through one’s relationships on Earth.