Did you know WOU has an Acapella Club? We sat down with co-president Olivia Martin to learn more about the club.
What is a typical meeting like at the Acapella Club?
A typical meeting for Acapella Club consists of mostly learning and perfecting new music, along with a decent amount of goofing around! We start off rehearsal with any news that we’d like to bring to the group, it’s a time for anyone to have the floor and have some group discussion. Then we move into warm-ups and get to singing, both as a whole group and split into sectionals. We are constantly trying to add new music to our repertoire in order to keep our audience engaged, and it’s always very exciting for us to challenge ourselves with a new piece.
How many members do you currently have? How does a new member get involved with the club?
Currently we have 15 members. New members are able to get involved with our club through our auditions that we hold each fall term, typically during week one and two. In the past we’ve taken new members outside of fall term auditions, maybe once or twice, but it’s super dependent on the needs of the group per year.
What do you look for in new members? Is previous experience required?
Mostly we’re looking for a positive attitude and a willingness to try, we all understand how intimidating and honestly scary the audition process is so we try to make it as painless as possible. Previous experience is absolutely not required but we do always ask about it during your audition and it can be a really helpful information when coming to a decision about who to invite into the performing group.
What events do you hold or have held around campus?
Our main event we hold on campus is a concert every term in Smith Recital Hall, with a few exceptions due to time constraints, lack of performance spaces, etc. We’ve also had the opportunity to perform for many amazing events on campus like singing the national anthem at home basketball games, performing during AES, the Out of The Darkness Walk in the spring, and during the Diversity Scholars dinner, as well as off campus events like Acapella Nights at the Majestic Theater in Corvallis or competing in ICCAs (the competition from Pitch Perfect!).
How big is the time commitment for a student?
We meet for a total of four hours a week and sometimes we’ll ask members to meet for longer rehearsals when we’re closer to a performance date or when we have a lot of things to discuss. We do ask for our members to practice music on their own time in order to use our time more efficiently during practice, so the amount of time spent practicing outside of rehearsal is up to each individual member.
What skills do members gain from their participation in this club?
Outside of the obvious gain in musical ability, I think the biggest skill that people gain in Acapella Club is a sense of community and friendship. In this club you really learn to rely on both your own abilities and know that you will be supported by the other members. We all become like a little family in Acapella, both in and out of rehearsal, and they become one of your main support groups.
What has been your favorite experience within Acapella Club, so far?
For the last three years we have hosted our spring concert at the main street amphitheater, we lovingly call it “Aca-Park-a”! It’s such an awesome opportunity to hold an outdoor concert and work with a professional sound engineer, which is something most of us have never had the opportunity to do before joining Acapella. Since the amphitheater is located in the heart of downtown Monmouth, “Aca-Park-a” always draws a much bigger and more diverse audience that our other performances in Smith Hall. It’s a super cool feeling to know that you possibly introduced audience members to a new type of music they’ve never experienced before, and hopefully that they will become supporters of our music in the future!
What would you say to a student considering joining the club?
Go for it! Acapella is such a great way to find a solid group of friends throughout college while bonding over a mutual love for singing and music. I almost didn’t audition my freshman year and I’m so grateful that I talked myself into it. This club has given me the opportunity to meet some of the most talented and genuinely nice people I have ever known, and most of those people I see myself being life-long friends with. There’s no harm in auditioning and you never know how great this group could be for you, so whenever you see a poster for auditions go ahead and give it a shot!
If you’re interested in checking out the Acapella Club, meetings are held every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. in Smith Hall. You can also visit their Instagram and Facebook pages. Their next concert will be on Wednesday, February 26 at 7 p.m. in Smith Recital Hall.