New groups find their voices

by Hae Ji Cho / Beacon Correspondent • October 25, 2012

Court acapella
Treble Makers rehearse a song from their set list.
Treble Makers rehearse a song from their set list.

For the first few weeks of a semester, the halls of Emerson are filled with talk of auditions, callbacks, and acceptances to the several performance organizations on campus. However, not everyone who auditions for Emerson’s a capella groups get accepted. As a result, two singing groups, Achoired Taste and Treble Makers, were formed to give more students the chance to share their voices.

According to freshman visual and media arts major Alicia Carroll, there is not enough space for Emerson songsters in the two Student Government Association-recognized a cappella groups, Noteworthy and Acappellics Anonymous. Thus, she started Achoired Taste.

During this semester’s callback for Acappellics Anonymous, Carroll befriended fellow freshmen Marina Altschiller and Daniel Begin, both performing arts majors, and proposed that they form their own a cappella group if they didn’t make the organization they were auditioning for. Carroll explained that most freshmen don’t usually get accepted, because there are only about six spots for new members to fill.

Carroll said she decided to make the best of the rejection and started the new group with her friends.

“I would just have been bummed and tried out again next semester,” said Carroll. “I think Marina had it in the back of her mind the entire time that she would start her own a cappella group.”

Carroll, Altschiller, and Begin started planning for Sept. 16, and held first auditions for Achoired Taste on Oct. 13 and 14, and said they tried to accommodate their candidates by picking songs that would be easy to learn. 

“We wanted [the auditions] to be very laid back and very low pressure, because we know people get nervous,” said Carroll.  “We tried to make it very low key.” 

Achoired Taste now has 14 members, but that was not the initial plan, according to Carroll. 

“Our goal was not to have this many people, but there were just so many talented people at the audition,”said Carroll. 

Although Achoired Taste is only in its first semester, the group already has plans to perform for the Emerson community.

“We are working through our first arrangement with everyone and it is already sounding great,” said Carroll. “We hope to perform in the near future but that takes some time, because we need to build up our repertoire. I think we are off to a good start and Emerson will be hearing a lot more of us soon.”

Like the founders of Achoired Taste, junior writing, literature, and publishing major Matt Kyle said he started his own a cappella troupe, Treble Makers, to give students another option.

“Several members ... have auditioned for the two existing groups before, and the realization was made that so much talent at Emerson couldn’t be contained by just two groups,” said Kyle. 

This past February, Kyle proposed a new a cappella group to some friends who he said are talented singers. According to Kyle, they backed up his idea and gathered a group of people in a common room in Piano Row. He said they then proposed a name for the group and potential performance songs. 

Kyle acts as as the music and creative director, and twin sisters Paige, a journalism major, and Sarah Erkert, a performing arts major, are in charge of the administrative side. Treble Makers started with nine members, but scheduling conflicts prevented them from continuing. Once they held auditions on Sept. 13, the group grew to 15 members, said Kyle.

“As of right now, we are attempting to take songs that people are familiar with and change them up, and keep them fresh,” said Kyle. “We want people to leave one of our concerts having heard songs presented in an interesting, original way.” 

Accappelics Anonymous supported Treble Makers by letting them sing as an opening act for their Acappallooza event in the spring. That was the group’s first performance, and according to Kyle, Treble Makers now has more upcoming shows.

“We are planning on performing at a [Sigma Alpha Epsilon] fundraiser, an open mic night hosted by Accappelics, and are preparing for our first solo concert to be announced soon,” said Kyle.

Carroll said she hopes the four a cappella groups can collaborate and become prominent members of the performance scene at Emerson.

“We really want to work with other groups,” said Carroll. “Our goal by next semester is to work with the other groups to make a night of a cappella for the whole school. We don’t want to compete. We just want to have fun.”