MU students take on leadership roles within acapella community

MU students address the responsibilities that come with a leadership position in an acapella group on campus as well as the advantages to being a part of the acapella community.

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MU acapella groups Mizzou Forte and the Naturelles held their auditions at the start of the month. As the acapella season begins, students in leadership positions feel prepared to lead their group for the upcoming year.

Sophia Sears, a senior and president of the Naturelles, is grateful for the smooth transition she’s made to president of her acapella group.

“I’ve been a part of the Naturelles for three years now and this is my first year being president,” Sears said. “I definitely knew I wanted the role because I really love this group. I’m also a really organized person, so I knew that I could do a good job at leading us. Someone had to step up, so I put my name out there and it was voted upon by the entire group. I’m very grateful to have gotten this position.”

Sears feels she has a clear understanding of the responsibilities that come with this new leadership position. She believes these skills are essential in managing the group.

“I run our emails so any gigs that we get or any events that people want us to sing at, I’m the person that manages that and gets the dates set up and lets the acappella group know,” Sears said. “I help plan practices, I book all of our practice rooms and I make fliers to help promote our group.”

Dalton Burge, a junior and music director for Mizzou Forte, also believes his role is an important part in assisting his group. “As music director, my job is to run practices and facilitate all of the music related aspects of the group,” Burge said. “I choose our set list for gigs and make sure that the group is sounding as good as possible.”

Burge feels that Mizzou Forte’s performances create positive energy and an environment for the acapella group and the audience to enjoy.

“We have concerts once a semester; however, we will normally have three or four smaller engagements that people will hire us to sing at,” Burge said. “For the smaller ones, we normally sing two to four songs and for our concerts we sing about 10 to 12. Our concerts are a great atmosphere because it is very relaxed but also great music.”

Sears feels similarly in that the Naturelles create a musical atmosphere that an audience can appreciate.

“We have two shows that we put on ourselves and that’s our fall concert and our spring concert,” Sears said. “But people reach out to us when they want us to perform, so last year we performed at the alumni center for an event. We have different organizations asking us to sing and it varies every year, but we usually get around four gigs maybe five with our concert in the fall and then around four or five in the spring.”

Sears believes that the Naturelles are special for more than just their fanbase. She feels that having an acapella group of solely women who all support each other is powerful.

“We were the first female acapella group on campus, and it’s always been that way ever since it was formed in 2007,” Sears said. “It’s just such a close community. We all love to sing, and I think we only have two music majors but we all have that same love for singing so it’s a really tight community of girls. We’ve become so close and it’s such a good support system. It makes me more confident to sing with such an empowering group of ladies.”

On the other hand, Mizzou Forte is a co-ed acapella group. Within Mizzou Forte, Burge appreciates the idea of having a close-knit and supportive community.

“My favorite part about Forte is the community itself,” Burge said. “You really feel like you’re part of a new family because the group is small and very personal. On top of that, everyone is an incredibly talented singer and you end up making music with your best friends and it’s an experience unlike any other.”

As the season starts, MU acapella students are enthusiastic about being a part of a positive community and contributing with their leadership responsibilities.

Edited by Alexandra Sharp | asharp@themaneater.com

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