Enrolling at the University of Arizona, I knew that I wanted to continue being as musically involved as I was in high school. I had played flute/piccolo in the marching band and symphonic band all four years of high school and had even been a drum major my last year. I also took vocal lessons a couple of years and sang with my church choir and (for a brief period) with my school's jazz band. However, being a college student and wanting to expand upon my music experiences, I wanted to try something different, so I decided to audition for an acapella group. My sophomore year, I made it into Enharmonics Acapella, an all-treble group at the U of A. I wasn't too sure about a cappella at first. I wasn't sure if it would be right for me or if I would mesh well with the group. Now, almost 2 full years into being in the group, I know that this is the best decision that I've made during my time here at the U of A and here's why.
1. You grow musically.Giphy
In an acapella group, you don't just start singing a new piece and have it sound perfect immediately (although that would definitely be nice). We have to practice the piece of music, learn our parts individually, and on top of that have all of our songs completely memorized. We also need to go through every section and make sure we are singing with the best possible tone quality, In addition to that, the music director of our group has to make sure that our blend across the ensemble is good, meaning no voices stick out or sound weird.
Articulation (in music, how we embellish the notes by making them shorter or longer and how we are pronouncing our consonants) is also something we focus on because in an a cappella group there are no instruments being used. So we need to make sure our voices emulate them. Dynamics is our volume as we're singing, which is important because getting progressively louder or softer etc. is often what adds the most passion to our singing. Focusing and learning more about all these things enable us to become better musicians. We strive for constant improvement.
2. You grow out of your comfort zone.Pitch Perfect Singing GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY Giphy
Once the singing is practiced and polished, it's performance time! In my acapella group, we are often asked to perform gigs at school events, which, obviously, are usually in front of a live audience. This can be extremely nerve-wracking, especially if you've had stage fright or performance anxiety. However, singing in a group can help combat all this. Singing with other people is not nearly as stressful as singing alone may be. If you're feeling adventurous enough, you can even audition for solos within your group. Before I started auditioning for solos in my group, I would get pretty nervous singing in front of people. Now, I'm a lot more comfortable with it and my voice. I even had a solo in the semi-final of the ICCA's (yes, the Pitch Perfect competition is real) and even though I was extremely nervous and cringed listening to me in the video of our performance afterward, I can say that I did it and conquered my nervousness.
3. You get more involved at school.Giphy
With the millions of clubs to choose from, it can be hard to find your niche. If you have a passion for singing and would love to find like-minded people, auditioning for an acapella group would be a great option for you. If chosen, you probably have to commit weekly rehearsals, which is great because it gives you something to look forward to besides school work. It also gives you something to put on your resume when applying for grad school or other jobs. And especially when you get to perform at gigs, it allows you go to cool school events that you may not attend otherwise (if you're like me and are more of a homebody).
4. You have a lot of social events.Giphy
My acapella group LOVES to socialize (after rehearsals of course). After a long, hard rehearsal, we love to go to Dutch Bros, a coffee/drink chain in Phoenix and Tucson. We also love to have kickbacks together at each other's apartments. Sometimes the nerdiest of us will even play Dungeons and Dragons. Regardless of what we do though, we always have a lot of fun together because of how all our experiences and perseverance at our craft have bonded us.
5. You meet the best people.Giphy
I can honestly say that the people in my a cappella group are truly some of the best people I have ever met. They are kind, generous, hardworking, and ambitious. We're always there for each other when we want to vent. This is not to say that we don't have flaws. We are all different people with distinct personalities. But one of the amazing things about being in an a cappella group and rehearsing with the same people three nights a week is that you get to know their flaws as well as their strengths. Every single member of my group has something wonderfully unique to offer and we've all become such good friends. We even hang out together on the days we don't have rehearsal because we enjoy each other's company so much. I don't know where I'd be in college without these beautiful people in my life. I would not trade acapella nor my acapella group for the world.
Being in an acapella group has changed my life for the better. If you are ever on the fence about auditioning for a group/joining a group (any group or club, not just a cappella) always take the chance! Amazing things happen in our lives when we dare to live out our passions. As for me and my a cappella group, we will continue going to Dutch Bros, playing Dungeons and Dragons, and making beautiful music. I look forward to all the amazing music and memories we will make in the future.