This past week UCLA’s a cappella groups have been actively recruiting new members. During this annual ritual, hundreds of Bruins from every walk of life give their very best try to join the right group. Listen to members of different groups: ScatterTones, AweChords, and Signature A Cappella talk about what their journey since auditions has been like at dailybruin.com/radio or via the Daily Bruin Radio iTunes podcast channel.
HAHN: Last week, Bruins from every walk of life gave their best shot to join one of several UCLA a cappella groups. From all boy groups and all girl groups to the co-ed groups, this is the chance for students of every major to let their inner Beyonce shine.
What is a cappella and how are auditions? Here is Clara Shader-Seave, a fourth-year theater major and a member of Signature A Cappella giving a little insight into the world of a cappella.
SHADER-SEAVE: A cappella is just singing without instruments. Signature, we’re a group of about 17 girls, we rehearse a couple times a week and throughout the year perform and different things. it’s cool to be part of a cappella at UCLA because there are so many groups.
HAHN: From this grueling process, only the best matches are invited to call back. And for the lucky ones who are picked, a new journey begins! Here is Clara again talking about why she chose Signature.
SHADER-SEAVE: I tried out for a bunch of groups, and I just ultimately found that Signature was the one I just connected with the most. I just really liked the members. I thought they were a lot of fun and they made me feel very welcome.
HAHN: For those who are interested, many of these groups hold auditions in winter and spring quarters as well. Here is Will Bostwick, a third-year theater student and a member of the ScatterTones with advice if you are thinking about auditioning.
BOSTWICK: My advice for students would be to go and audition, and if you get a callback, go to callbacks. And to come out and be yourself and be loud and let your voice be heard. Everyone looks for something different in a singer – we have nine people on the panel in groups of ScatterTones and everyone is looking and seeing something different, like perception just changes everything.
HAHN: Starting with a week of quick five minute auditions, a handful get called back to sing again. From this group, some are invited to join! For these student singers, this community is not only within UCLA but also extends to post-college and alumni networking.
BOSTWICK: There is a really strong alumni network for the ScatterTones and I know that there are alumni from Bruin Harmony that come back, and alumni from Random Voices that come back because I met them at callbacks, just as we have ScatterTones come back – we have our little Scatter Family – (that’s) what we call it on our groupme. I definitely want to keep doing music, and I know that there are ScatterTone alumni that are in a band together. I did not do a cappella before, and it has really opened up my horizons as to what I can do with a piece of pen and paper.”
HAHN: Whether a family or a community, being involved in a cappella at UCLA is both unique and impactful for its members. Here is Haezy Kim, a third-year communication studies major and a member of AweChords talking about what she loves about a cappella.
KIM: None of us are really music majors, but we all are just people that like to do music for hobby. I liked to sing and I like to play a lot of instruments, and it’s really great to have a lot of people around with similar interests as you. And it’s not really related to my major, but what I found out was (that) I have a strong passion for music.
HAHN: Not only is this a hobby, but for many students this shapes their future.
KIM: I am a communication studies major but I am thinking of picking up a music industry minor. So just being around people who love music made me want to pursue music as a career, and I have more interest in it. And I get to learn a lot from them as well, which is great.
HAHN: From performing experience to meeting different groups, these groups collectively exist in a UCLA singing community. Unlike what “Pitch Perfect” portrays, the groups get along and work together often. Schader-Seave doesn’t feel a competitive dynamic between the groups.
SHADER-SEAVE: I don’t think we are competitive. There’s sort of a fun, joking rivalry that we’ll have like when we’re flyering – join our group, join our group – but ultimately I have a lot of friends in the other groups and I think that because there are so many groups at UCLA it makes a cappella that much more recognized, which is really awesome because it is this whole a cappella community at UCLA.
HAHN: As nerve-racking as auditions can be, it clearly seems worth a try. And as for their personal time, here are some member’s favorite shower songs!
SHADER-SEAVE: I love the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, it’s like my number one guilty pleasure, so I’m going to go with “I Want It That Way.”
BOSTWICK: “All of Me” by John Legend. It just flows, and it is such a singable song. And it’s one of those instant pop classics.
KIM: It really depends. I used to really like Ed Sheeran, and I kind of know all of his songs. Right now it’s songs from “Wicked,” the musical, because we did a “Wicked” medley last spring quarter.
HAHN: A wide variety and some great energy, look out for these a cappella groups to perform in upcoming weeks! From all of us here at Daily Bruin Radio, I am Chang Hahn.