Did you watch The Sing Off this fall? If you are a high school student, and interested in singing in college, you should have. As The Sing Off season finale aired this week it seemed timely to post about college a cappella groups. There were some amazing collegiate groups that were a part of this Sing Off season including groups from: Dartmouth College, U. of Rochester, Howard University, University of Delaware and Brigham Young.
College a cappella music has a special place in the hearts of the educational consultants at Montgomery Educational Consulting. President of MEC, Mark Montgomery, was a member of the Dartmouth Aires when he was a student and I was a member of the Colgate Resolutions – a co-ed a cappella group – while at Colgate University.
In fact, I was recently at a wedding where two former Colgate Resolutions married each other. During the wedding the mother of the bride gave a toast that began, “When my daughter was looking at colleges one of the conditions for attending was that they had an a cappella group.” I have to admit, that was a big part of my college search as well when I was in high school. Today, you are hard pressed to find a college campus without an a cappella group. In fact, most campuses have multiple.
Are you interested in joining an a cappella group in college? If so, here are a few things to think about, and learn, during your campus visit.
- What is the audition process like?
- Do they have an all- female group, male group, co-ed group or all of the above?
- Do the groups travel? If so, how much?
- What kinds of performances do they do?
- What types of musical genres do they sing?
- Do they make recordings?
Most college a cappella groups have websites that you can check out to learn more but better yet, look at the campus calendar of the college you are visiting to see if there is a performance happening while you are there.
Lastly, I would argue that one of the biggest factors in your consideration of joining a college a cappella group is the camaraderie you will find. Many students in college a cappella groups are involved in a variety of other activities (student government, volunteer work, sports, greek life, etc.) aside from singing. However, alumni from these groups will often tell you that the a cappella group they were in was one of the most meaningful experiences they had in college. While honing your singing skills during late night rehearsals it is easy to find yourself surrounded by life-long friends.