How Acapella Changed My Life

For anyone who's ever met me, you will know that no matter what I'm doing, I am always singing. ALWAYS. SINGING. Like, eternally. It's just how I am.

For many people, this would become annoying extremely quickly. However, in high school, I was lucky enough to know people who knew what to do to give me an outlet. One day my friend told me there were auditions for an acapella group that Thursday, and I figured I could give it a shot.

I don't remember how the audition went, only that I sang an Adele song and that after I was done my teacher and the coach got upset that I hadn't auditioned before my senior year. Long story short, I got into the group, and we had a ton of fun that year. We learned a few songs that I had never heard of before, and I made some amazing new friends who taught me so many things about music and ensemble singing. It was an eye opening experience, and I couldn't wait to try and continue acapella in college.

When I got to CUA, I was thrilled to have the chance to audition for my brother's acapella group, Redline Acapella. I was nervous and overwhelmed and I can remember not knowing what to do or sing, but they welcomed me warmly and made me feel right at home. To my surprise, I ended up getting in, and I couldn't wait to start rehearsing. Those Sunday and Thursday nights became a time to set the benchmark for the week and then the weekend, respectively. I would leave on Sunday nights energized for the week, and pumped up on Thursday to finish my long week and have fun.

Every time we learned a new song, I learned about the importance of cohesion and listening to one another to help better the group. The complexity of some of the arrangements pushed my sheet music sight-reading abilities to their limits, and needing to swing several voice parts and cover different lines of the songs taught me the value of each individual part in making the whole work together as one.

If one person struggled, we did what we needed to so that it could be worked out in favor of the whole. For example, there have been changes we've made to some of the songs because someone sang notes that weren't written but sounded better than the sheet music. Or when someone playfully added a harmony or tasteful vocal riff from the radio edition that accidentally became the highlight of the song. These things showed me how important it is to be flexible and open minded when working as a group, and that teamwork really does make the dream work.

This year, especially, I have found a home in Redline. I have never before been involved with such a kind and caring and beautiful group of individuals, with talent through the roof and personality to spare. Their energy never fails to brighten up my life, and their encouragement and positivity helps me accomplish things I never thought I could do, like singing not one but two solos in front of daunting crowds, and recording for an album and numerous videos. I have been given so many opportunities with Redline to share my gifts and talents, something I will be forever grateful for, and I hope to continue to do so in whatever capacity I can for the rest of my time with these lovely humans.

Next semester we have been awarded the chance to participate in an incredible competition of nationwide acapella groups, and I am fully confident in our abilities as a group to succeed. Never have I had such faith in a couple of kids who sing funny syllables and a beatboxer or two to conquer anything that is thrown at us. We take road trips and make silly videos, we sing and dance and stomp and clap through rehearsal, and we laugh and snuggle together like a litter of smol happy puppies. We really are a family, and I wouldn't trade these people for anything in the world. They are aca-awesome, and I wouldn't want to take on college without them.