Name: Bunge Okeyo
Class: BC 2013
Major: Religion (focusing on 19th and 20th century American History)
What is your position with the Metrotones?
A friend of mine on my floor our first year suggested that I audition for A Cappella groups spring of 2010. I thought she was nuts, but I ended up auditioning and joining the Metrotones. I am so glad I took her advice! I've come to really love singing and the wonderful women in the Metrotones make me enjoy it even more! I wasn't a musical director until this past fall. One musical director graduated last year and the other went abroad, so Kate Mullen and I filled the void and gave it a shot. It has been quite rewarding thus far.
Where did you get your musical training?
I actually never sang before college, but I took 11 years of piano lessons and 8 years of trombone in school band. I also started to playing the guitar on my own junior year of high school. Although none of these involved singing, my piano background in particular help a great deal with arranging music. Now I am in a jazz vocal class instructed by Christine Correa, who is so incredibly talented, it has been one of the highlights of my junior year.
What are some of your favorite songs you've done?
My favorite songs we've done are the group pieces. We've done Because by the Beatles, Kaleidoscope Heart by Sara Bareilles, Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap and For Emma by Bon Iver in my time in the group. It could be that For Emma is the first piece I arranged as a co-musical director, but I love that one the most. As a soloist my favorites have definitely been You are the Best Thing by Ray Lamontagne and Going on by Gnarles Barkley. I find singing in the background just as fun and other songs we've done that I really enjoyed are Shark in the Water by VV Brown, Heart Skipped a Beat by the XX, and Never Gonna Leave This Bed by Maroon 5. Also, my love for This I Promise You by N Sync knows no boundaries, that is one of my favorites as well!
You are the Best Thing
Never Gonna Leave This Bed
What else do you do around campus?
I was a swimmer for my first two years here on Columbia Women's Swimming and Diving Team. It was such an amazing experience, but I decided to stop swimming after sophomore year. Now I spend a lot of time going to events on campus. I never got the chance when I swam and really wanted to take advantage of the great people we have speaking here regularly. I have probably spent a little too much time at talks this semester , but I think its worth it! This year I've heard Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Gloria Steinem, Oprah Winfrey, Anita Hill, Ruby Bridges, Herman Cain speak on Campus and few others off campus as well. It's been a good year!
If you could change one thing about NYC, what would it be?
If I could change one thing about NYC I would make the winters milder without having palm trees! I have grown to really like the City, there isn't much I would change.
What are your summer plans?
I am really excited to be staying in the City this summer. I was fortunate enough to be chosen as an Athena Summer Fellow and I will be interning at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.