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A cappella isn’t really like Pitch Perfect. We get asked this quite a bit. What it is is difficult. It takes a lot of hard work and focus to make music with other people. I’ll give you a run through of our average rehearsal week and you can decide if you have what it takes.

Related: Is College A Cappella Really Like ‘Pitch Perfect’?

“Hey Girls!” greets us on the blackboard as we walk into our first meeting. Sitting around us are our friends and fellow singers, eating or chatting before rehearsal begins. In our hands is the newest sheet music (“Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics) and we can’t wait to start learning. Allison Burns, a sophomore and the president, walks up to the front of the room, claps her hands, smiles and says “Ok! What are we doing tonight?” And thus Carthachord Rehearsal begins.

Usually, rehearsal starts with a quick run of our newest songs, seeing where the bumps are, and then sending the groups out to sectionals. Sectionals are when members go to practice with their section alone. In the Carthachords we have four to five sections depending on the songs; Soprano 1, Soprano 2, Alto 1, Alto 2, and our Beasts (the girls who can sing REALLY low). After 30 minutes to hammer out the problem areas each group is facing, the whole group meets back together and then the real work starts.

We sing. And sing. And sing. We usually focus on one or two songs during any certain rehearsal, but sometimes we look back at older songs to spice it up. Singing the same songs over and over again may seem repetitive, but it’s extremely necessary. There have been rehearsals where we just focus on a single page to make it just right. In the moment, it can be infuriating to continuously sing the same notes, but the end result makes it all worthwhile.

That’s what being a Carthachord is like. Now, add in a few more rehearsals just like that one, some self-review, and the time it takes to memorize, and you can see that a cappella can take a lot out of you. But it’s so worth it when the music comes together. When I first auditioned for this group I didn’t know what I was in for. At first I was intimidated, but now I’ve found that these girls (and Cole) are like a family to me. We support one another and cheer each other on! We’ve laughed together, we’ve cried together, and we’ve kicked some musical ass together!

If you want to see us live, keep your eyes out for our Christmas Performance Posters all around campus! If you’re interested in maybe auditioning for us, look on The Bridge in the near future for more information. Auditions will most likely be in the beginning on the Spring term. Hope to see you soon!

Anna Engleson

Carthage '22

Anna Engleson is a freshman at Carthage College, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Women and Gender Studies. She's from Inver Grove Heights, MN, but promises her kindness is not just "Minnesota Nice". She listens to almost solely Show Tunes, loves to cosplay, and is passionate about almost everything she gets her mind set on.
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