While most undergrads can get an earful of a cappella at semester shows in Strong Auditorium and the May Room, news about the plans of each group outside of their seasonal concerts sometimes goes unnoticed. Even with the fall a cappella season coming to a close, all four campus ensembles are still hard at work on fine tuning their harmonies for albums, competitions, and beyond!
After Hours, the University’s co-ed a cappella group, is starting off next semester with some “pitch perfect” plans. On January 31st, the group will compete in the International Championship for Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA), a judged event that showcases talent from campuses across the nation. This will be the group’s fourth appearance at the show in the last five years.
Still reeling from the release of their most recent album, Duality, last spring, musical director John Queenan ’17 is excited to see what the future has in store for the group.
Duality features tracks from their award winning 2013 ICCA set. The recording project, which totaled over $15,000, was the culmination of two years of recording, mixing, and audio mastering. Featuring modern hits from artists such as Justin Timberlake, David Guetta, Kelly Clarkson, and Imagine Dragons, the album also features an original composition from group member Alex Murray ’13.
The Midnight Ramblers recently wrapped up their latest semester show in Strong Auditorium, “The Rambling Dead.” While the zombified Ramblers took the stage for a concert experience they deemed “ever deader,” musical director Tom Downey ’14 hopes to keep the group fully awake and alive for their next project—a professionally recorded album.
This upcoming album will be the 11th in the Ramblers’ discography, which spans back to 1999. The Ramblers are currently in the process of recording on campus, using the facilities of the Computer Studies Building, and hope to release the album at their upcoming spring concert on April 11th. The album will feature some of the Rambler’s greatest hits from the past few years, bringing back old favorites that you won’t want to miss out on!
The Ramblers are also gearing up for their annual spring break tour. With past years taking them to NYC, Nashville, and beyond. They are excited to find out where their next musical adventure will take them.
The lovely ladies of Vocal Point hope to close out the semester with some holiday cheer through their annual winter show. With cookies, cocoa, and carols, the all-female ensemble will highlight the joy of the holidays despite the stress of the reading period.
Last year, the group sponsored Project EMPOWER, collaborating with a local middle school to provide musical and esteem-building workshops for the Young Women’s College Prep. Looking to the future, Vocal Point plans to begin work on their next studio album in the spring semester. Their last album, Daylight Again, was released in 2012.
This semester, the YellowJackets launched Project Forte, a philanthropic initiative aimed at bringing music and medicine together. As a recipient of the Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year (KEY) Scholarship, Abhishek Sharma ’14 wanted to create opportunities for musicians on campus and in the local community to perform in hospitals and hospice facilities in the Greater Rochester area.
Sharma hopes to create a culture that promotes the use of music therapy in local health institutions. Music has been shown to increase quality of life for patients in medical settings by improving social and emotional well-being. With Project Forte, the YellowJackets hope that the community is able to “note the difference” that music can make.
Last November, the YellowJackets released their 17th studio album, 50 Shades of Yellow. Since then, they have also released a digital single, “Say Something,” a heartfelt rendition of A Great New World’s original. Next year, the Jackets hope to release even more singles, leading up to their next album.