My A Capella group!

Virtual Pitch Perfect? My Experience Participating In An A Capella Group During The COVID Era

“Is it just like Pitch Perfect?” was the question I was most frequently asked when I first joined my a capella group, UCLA’s Deviant Voices, back in Fall 2019. I would always tell people that it was just as fun as you would expect, although we don’t meet up late at night in parking lots and aggressively sing at each other (although that would be pretty cool).

Being in an a capella group had been on my bucket list since I was in middle school, so, as you can imagine, I was incredibly nervous for my audition. After all, I had the weight of my middle school dream on my shoulders and I didn’t want to let such a fun opportunity slip through my fingers. However, seeing the DVAC team goof around with each other filled me with an overwhelming sense of calm within minutes (which literally never happens to me during auditions). In that moment, I could see myself as part of the group, and it turns out that they shared that same vision. A couple hours after my audition, I got a call from a random number and a huge “CONGRATULATIONS!” welcoming me to my new musical family.

My A Capella friends and I! Original photo by Isis Doss-Wassily

Without a doubt joining DVAC has been one of the highlights of my college career thus far. After every rehearsal, we’d head back up to the Hill and grab some late-night snacks and just vibe for hours after. I was always nervous that I wouldn’t make friends easily in college, but just like at my audition, I always felt at ease with my DVAC friends and found myself getting comfortable around them very quickly. We went to parties together, performed together, asked each other the most random existential questions… it was the best.

Deviant Voices Shenanigans Original photo by Isis Doss-Wassily

All too soon though, March 2020 came around and we all went our separate ways. I had no idea how or if we were going to continue to keep the group together via Zoom, because how on earth could we sing together online? During my first year, DVAC was really my only musical outlet, and singing with my friends twice a week was the most perfect form of stress-relief. The possibility of losing that special form of expression was definitely scary to me. More importantly though, how were we going to keep the bond that we’d formed in person? Singing with DVAC is always amazing, but what really makes us special is the quirky, always positive, fun vibes that we have as a group. I really didn’t want to lose the friendships I’d made during my first 2 quarters of college.

Luckily for us, our awesome music directors kept up our weekly rehearsals. Though we can’t really sing together live over Zoom, they’ve come up with a fun way to continue our music-making process: recording songs virtually and making fun music videos to go with them! And, not to brag, but we sound AMAZING. Here’s our cover of “Electric Love” by BORNS!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9KLZ4-6Xw0

Our weekly Zoom meetings are definitely one of the highlights of my week. It’s so great to see everyone on a regular basis, and in typical DVAC fashion, we’ve still managed to keep up our classic goofy energy. The Zoom chat box is always filled with the most random, hilarious comments, and it almost feels like nothing has really changed! Outside of rehearsals, we set up spontaneous Among Us games and Snapchat video calls. I’m incredibly grateful to be a part of such a wonderful group with the best people. I’m even more grateful that we’ve managed to keep creating music and making the most of this virtual era!

My A Capella group! Original photo by Isis Doss-Wassily Throughout this past year in DVAC, the more I'm asked the Pitch Perfect question, the more I've realized that I’ve come up with a new, better answer: No, being in DVAC isn’t like Pitch Perfect, it’s so much better. I wouldn't trade this group for the world!