UF A Capella Group Launches Fundraiser to Record Album

Tone Def, a co-ed a capella group at the University of Florida, has entertained audiences at holiday concerts, tailgates and competitions. Soon, there will be a new place for fans of the group to listen to their music: Spotify and other major streaming sources.

On Dec. 15, 2018, Tone Def announced a fundraiser on GoFundMe to help the group record a studio album. As of Jan. 22, Tone Def have raised $1,860 from 26 donors.

Jenine Marquez, Tone Def’s public relations manager, said recording albums is common among collegiate a capella groups.

“It’s a really cool legacy to leave behind,” said Marquez, a 19-year-old advertising senior.

The group, aiming to raise $10,000, is offering prizes in return for contributions. The prizes vary depending on the amount donated and include thank you notes, T-shirts and the opportunity to have a private performance by the group. The reward listed for donating $10,000 or more is the ability to name the album that will be recorded.

“I suggested it as a joke, but then we thought it actually sounded pretty good,” said Claudia Del Pozo, Tone Def’s president. "We like to have a good sense of humor.”

Tone Def performs at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella 2018 at the Phillips Center. Photo courtesy of Tone Def.

The album will be recorded at the end of March in Del Pozo’s living room over the course of three or four days. Del Pozo, a 22-year-old international studies and political science major, said the decision to record there was partly to avoid trying to rent a space but also because smaller spaces will have better acoustics for recording.

Plaid Productions, a two-person a capella production company based in Massachusetts and New York, will travel to Gainesville to record it, said Del Pozo. Tone Def hopes to include six tracks on the album, all of which will be covers.

Members of Tone Def have been promoting the fundraiser through social media posts that include short music videos and thanks to those who have donated.

One of the donors is Del Pozo’s father, Raymond Del Pozo. Being her father isn’t the only reason he contributed to the fundraiser, though.

“I believe this album will help future group members see the results of the hard work they’ve put into [the group]," he said. “As the seniors move on, this will be a great way to take with them a wonderful memory of their time with Tone Def.”

The group will be hosting events to fundraise as well, said Del Pozo. On Feb. 13, they’ll be hosting an “anti-Valentine’s Day party,” which will include food, raffle prizes and performances. While entrance is free, the activities inside will cost money that will go towards the album fundraiser.

Ultimately, Del Pozo said, the album recording isn’t what’s most important to the group. Tone Def focuses on monthly community service events in addition to their musical pursuits.

Members of the group have taught music lessons at Girls Place, Inc., a nonprofit focused on empowering young girls. They’ve served dinner and performed at GRACE Marketplace, a homeless facility, as well, said Marquez.

In 2018, Tone Def participated in UF’s Dance Marathon and was the only a capella group to do so.

“I want people to know that the service aspect is at the core of what we do,” Claudia Del Pozo said. “All the other stuff is extra.”