Shake it off
GV a capella groups hold open auditions
Shaking hands, sweaty palms. The song you’ve been practicing all week repeats in your head, but the ability to play the guitar, the piano or any other instrument will not save you. Your voice is the only thing that will carry you through under the blaze of those lights.
Musically talented students able to push through these nerves to belt out a tune are the ones that GrooVe and Euphoria, two of Grand Valley State University’s a cappella groups, are looking for.
Euphoria member Matthew Wagenheim said his group is looking for confident singers who can hold their own in a solo situation as well as in a group.
“(GrooVe is) looking for all voice parts including vocal percussionists,, but in our audition process what we really look for is strong musicianship and strong character and personality and really people who are just as excited about making music as GrooVe already is,” member Nick Ciliak said.
Both groups encourage students to shake off the nerves and take to the stage.
“Don’t be nervous just because we are the friendliest group of people,” Ciliak said. “We are rooting for everyone that walks through those doors. We are definitely rooting for the auditionees, and we are really excited to see our turnout.”
Similar to any club or activity on campus, Euphoria and GrooVe are each a commitment. The two groups partake in many events each month and practice multiple times a week.
“Last year (Euphoria) practiced about five hours a week,” Wagenheim said. “We have a couple concerts a year. This year we are going to ICCAs, which people will be familiar with from ‘Pitch Perfect.’”
GrooVe books two to three performances each month, president Casey McCullen said. It travels all over the state of Michigan, from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids to Traverse City.
“I think we are doing a combination concert with the other a cappella groups on campus, which has been a recurring event,” Wagenheim said.
However, auditions are one-time only, so choosing which group to go out for is important. Both are looking for enthusiastic, talented students to join their families, but GrooVe is looking for students with a little more technical and musical experience.
The harmony that Euphoria and GrooVe showcase in their performances extends off-stage. Both define themselves as big families and consider auditions as opportunities for new generational branches of their family trees to sprout.
Euphoria auditions will be held Sept. 5 in 2201 Kirkhof from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., while GrooVe auditions will occur Sept. 6 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. in 0058 Kirkhof.
“Just go for it,” McCullen said. “The only opportunities that you miss out on are the ones that you never take.”