University has its own ‘Pitch Perfect’ a cappella group

March 18, 2013

April Wefler
awefler@uccs.edu

Whether it’s coming from our iPods, UCCS Radio or even the clock tower at Kraemer Family Library, music is usually widespread on campus. And the music typically involves instruments.

The A Cappella Club, a new singing group on campus as of last summer, has chosen to make their members’ voices heard without instruments.

“It’s a lot harder to do a cappella than people realize,” said Kayla Kuemmerle, the president of A Cappella and a sophomore majoring in theater with a music minor.

“It’s a lot harder to sing without any instruments … stay in the key and stay in the right rhythm while dancing and singing and remembering words.”

The group covers contemporary music, such as Coldplay’s “Fix You” and Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours.”

“Everybody knows those,” Kuemmerle said. She added that she likes “I’m Yours” and thinks A Cappella is really good at it. “It’s one of our most solid pieces. We have a lot of fun with it,” she said.

With the media attention of “Pitch Perfect,” Kuemmerle said it’s difficult to always meet expectations for an a cappella group.

“People expect a lot, and while what they expect is true, it’s a lot more than they think it is,” she said. “It’s also hard to hold up to such a high standard and make everybody else rise up to what it needs to be.”

Kuemmerle first became involved with a cappella when she and her three younger sisters decided to start a four-person a cappella group a couple of years ago. “We’ve all grown up in music and we’ve done some covers and performed at a couple of places,” she said.

“I like that you can go anywhere with it. All you need is [a] pitch pipe and yourself and your group. You don’t need to carry around any instruments; you don’t necessarily need a sound system. You just need your vocal chords,” she added.

The group attended the Mile High Vocal Jam Competition Show in Denver Feb. 16. According to The Denver Post’s events calendar website, the competition featured university and high school student groups.

“We tried for the wildcard but missed it by a hair,” Kuemmerle said. However, A Cappella did participate in the workshops and clinics offered at the competition. “We learned a lot and definitely grew as a group,” she added.

Kuemmerle said that the group went to Beginning Vocal Percussion, as well as a class on belting, which is when a singer projects his or her voice at a loud volume. “We learned the proper technique for belting, which was also really cool,” she said.

Additionally, A Cappella plans to perform around campus. “We just recently performed in Café 65,” Kuemmerle said. “It went pretty good.”

A Cappella will be holding auditions again next semester or the end of this semester. “We do have some graduating seniors, so we’ll definitely need people soonish,” Kuemmerle said. She asked students interested in joining to email her at kkuemmer@uccs.edu.

The group rehearses in University Hall, previously meeting from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in Room 221 of the Osborne Studio.

“A lot of people just sit outside the room and listen, which is fine,” Kuemmerle said. She added that those who would like to go and listen should arrange it beforehand to avoid throwing off rehearsal.