When I auditioned for a cappella in the fall of my freshmen year at Kalamazoo College, I expected it to be something like “Pitch Perfect” because that was the only example of a cappella I had. Being a member of The Limelights a cappella group for the past year and a half, I can say that it is pleasantly similar. No, we don’t have overbearing and controlling directors like Aubrey, but there is an incredible bond that grows between its members like what the end of the movie portrays. This type of feeling is incredibly difficult to explain, but I’ll do my best. If I’m being entirely honest, auditioning for The Limelights has been one of the best decisions I have made in college so far, and here’s why:
What probably comes to mind when you think of a cappella is the significance of the music we make and you’d be right. Twice a week I get to step into rehearsal and make music with some of the most admirable women I have ever met in my life. What’s amazing is that there is an immense amount of talent packed into 18 young women and we’re all obsessed with each other’s voices. We have become the biggest fans of each other and we can appreciate just how talented everyone is, while still being incredibly humble. A lot of the group members have expressed something along the lines of, “I have no idea how I got into this group,” at some point since we met and the rest of us quickly shut it down because we know how amazing they are at singing. We can’t get enough of the voices in this group.
Spending four or more hours per week with a single group of people has formed a bond that I’m sure is difficult to match in other circumstances. Our array of differences brings us closer together because we all have this incredible passion: we sing. The electrifying feeling of singing with someone– or making music with someone in general — is magnifying; it’s a feeling that courses through your spine that is indescribable to anyone who hasn’t experienced it themselves. The best part about forming the bond that I share with this group, is that it will last forever. I have made friends with members who graduated in the years before my time, and I know of members that chose to live together after they graduated. We’re all there for each other, and if any member of the group needed something from a shoulder to cry on to a ride to the airport one of us would be there without question.
(The Limelights past and present)
This bond between the group I’m in specifically is indescribably perfect, but we’re not the only a cappella group at Kalamazoo College. My group, The Limelights, is the all women’s group, but there is also the all men’s group called The Kalamadudes and the coed group called Premium Orange. Regardless of which group you’re in, if you are a member of a cappella you automatically have a special connection to the other members. A cappella has its own little community on campus that I know I can count on if I ever need anything, just like how it is with my own group. Obviously I am closer with specific members of the other groups, but it’s rare for me to see a member of a cappella on campus and not at least say “hi” or see how their day is going. The best part is when we all decide to hang out, because even though someone always has a playlist ready, it either ends up being turned down or completely ignored because we prefer to just make the music ourselves. It is so rare for a cappella to get together and to not organically start jamming. One person starts to sing a song and then someone jumps in with a harmony, someone lays down a beat, and someone adds a couple “dooms” and “dahs” and tah dah- we’ve made our own music.
If I’m being entirely honest, I don’t know how I would survive these crazy years of college without having a cappella to fall back on. When I auditioned in the fall of my freshmen year, I never would have guessed how impactful it would be on my life. It’s an amazing stress reliever filled with some of the greatest and most unbelievably talented friends I have ever had. I know they would support me through anything. We share a bond through our music, but it is so much more complex than that.