Point Park Globe

Students working to form campus a cappella club

On Point A Cappella holds vocal auditions and rehersals

Members+of+On+Point+A+Cappella+rehearse+together+on+Sunday%2C+Oct.+28+on+the+fifth+floor+of+Lawrence+Hall.+
Members of On Point A Cappella rehearse together on Sunday, Oct. 28 on the fifth floor of Lawrence Hall.

Members of On Point A Cappella rehearse together on Sunday, Oct. 28 on the fifth floor of Lawrence Hall.

Photo by Lauren Clouser

Photo by Lauren Clouser

Members of On Point A Cappella rehearse together on Sunday, Oct. 28 on the fifth floor of Lawrence Hall.

Written By Lauren Clouser, Co-Features Editor

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When freshman acting major Emily Harnett transferred from Emerson College to Point Park, she realized there were no a cappella groups to join. Although Point Park has had a cappella clubs in the past, none were currently active this year.

Harnett, who had been involved with a cappella for over four years, sought to change that.

“I was like, ‘This has to change because there’s so many talented singers on campus,’” Harnett said.

Harnett began talking to freshman stage management major, Allison Donahue, who had past experience with a cappella; her group in high school was ranked fourth in the country. 

“We met actually in the Facebook group for Point Park,” Donahue said. “I saw that she had done a cappella before so that’s how we started talking and became friends.”

Harnett said they began to talk about forming an a cappella club, and after they met in person they decided to create On Point A Cappella.

Harnett, Donahue and their music director Paco Medina, a freshman performance and practices major, worked to find more members, and held auditions on Oct. 12. Harnett said about 40 people auditioned for the remaining 13 slots.

“We did an audition process where people sang a verse and a chorus of a song and we did scales,” Harnett said. “Then we had a callback where we taught them an arrangement to hear how they would learn music and also how they would blend with everyone else.” 

Harnett said choosing group members for an a cappella group is more than just finding good singers.

“We couldn’t just pick people we knew who could sing because a cappella is so much about blending and creating one cohesive sound,” Harnett said. “So you need to find a group of people that mesh together.”

Harnett posted the results of who made it into the group on Oct. 17. Undecided freshman, Derek Etter, was one of the people selected to become a member.

“I had a lot of fun during the audition,” Etter said. “It’s all about showing character and showing who you really are, especially with an a cappella group because it’s not like an act that you’re putting on, it’s just you singing a lot of songs.”

Etter had sung a cappella songs in choir groups before and said he was excited to do be involved with a cappella again.

“I’m just most excited for us to all hone our skills,” Etter said. “I’m really excited to perform for the first time with everybody just because people are going to be blown away because we’re going to be fantastic.”

Harnett said the group has allowed her to meet new people.

“I really don’t know many of the people in it super well which is really exciting because we get to meet new people,” Harnett said.

Although the club is still in the process of getting its constitution recognized by USG, they still meet to rehearse for four hours each week.

Harnett said groups on campus already reached out to On Point A Cappella to perform.

“I’m just really happy, a cappella is just really such a community driven thing,” Harnett said “I’m excited to be able to bring this to this school because it can really be in everyone’s life, not just the people who are in the group.”

Harnett said this semester will be dedicated to rehearsing, and that they will start competitions next semester.

“Hopefully this year we’ll get a good ground of what we are,” Harnett said.

Donahue said she was excited to see the club through from the beginning.

“I’ve been a part of a cappella before, but this process of starting it from the ground up is definitely going to be a really cool experience to see something from nothing,” Donahue said.

Donahue hopes that they will be able to create a club that will remain on campus for years to come.

“I hope that it will be able to sustain itself and after we’re graduated still be functioning and running and adding new members,” Donahue said. “So hopefully we’ll be able to get it towards that stability.”

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