This week’s Campus Celeb is a part of Agnes, St. Olaf’s female a cappella group. Here’s another hint: His name is Mike. Yes, your eyes are functioning properly, I didn’t commit a typo, and Mike is not just some unfortunate name for a woman.
Mike Holm ’11, a computer science major from Madison, New Jersey and definitely a male, is the vocal percussionist (that’s a fancy term for beatboxer) for Agnes A Cappella. Read on to learn about his experience with the lovely ladies.
Her Campus St. Olaf: How did you become the vocal percussionist for Agnes?
Mike Holm: Well, I’ve always been good friends with Elaine [Atcheson ’11], who’s in the group. I guess Konrad [Kaltenbach ’13] used to be their vocal percussionist, and before him they didn’t have one. When Konrad left Agnes, Elaine just asked me to work with them for the upcoming concert.
HC: What does being the vocal percussionist for Agnes involve?
MH: They tell me what songs they’re doing and I look them up—I don’t usually listen to pop music. I’ll listen to the song, figure out what I might want to do on it, and then we go to rehearsal and try to put it all together. It’s pretty low-key for me. I don’t need as much rehearsal time as they do because they just put me in once they’re ready to go. They have concerts in the Pause, they do stuff in the senior center, they did a workshop with Mark Stover, so I go to all of those events.
HC: How did you learn to beatbox?
MH: For the most part I just did it on my own. In high school an a cappella group came to our church and their vocal percussionist taught everyone there how to do it. A bunch of my friends wanted to put together an a cappella group for the senior talent show, and none of them could beatbox, so I just kind of did it. Besides that, it’s just practice: doing it around campus, sitting in my room, in the car, wherever! I’m also a drummer, so that really helps. It’s kind of the same outlet for me.
HC: What’s it like being in Agnes?
MH: That’s a good question. They’re all really fun people, good friends and really good musicians. It’s a lot of fun.
HC: Do you get crap for being in an all-female a cappella group?
MH: A little bit. One of my friends got hold of one of our concert posters and circled my face and tacked it to my door. When I tell people I’m in a female a cappella group, all the time people are just like, “Huh?”
HC: What’s your favorite song that you’ve done with Agnes?
MH: Probably “Galileo” by the Indigo Girls. I never would have listened to it if it weren’t for Agnes, but it’s actually a really cool song. We did it for a while, and then when Mark Stover came he workshopped it with us and it changed a lot. It was really cool to see the song progress.
HC: If you could do vocal percussion for any artist, who would it be?
MH: Ben Folds, just because he does beatbox on some of his songs, and it would be nuts to hang out with Ben Folds and do stuff on his tracks.
HC: What else are you involved with on campus?
MH: I play ultimate frisbee, I am in a jazz band, and I work at the rock wall.
St. Olaf men are… smart.
St. Olaf women are… awesome.
HC: Any advice for Ole women?
MH: Have fun doing whatever you’re doing!