MAC and WAC welcome new members

Westminster’s acapella groups have been working tirelessly to showcase their impressive singing abilities to the student body. The groups, MAC and WAC, have been arranging pieces and performing after school with the hopes of inspiring others and sharing their musical talents with the school. This year, the groups hope to add on to the successful legacy that past years have left by trying new things.

“This year, we are really focused on being more engaging with the audience rather than just standing on stage and singing,” said new junior WAC member Adelaide Burrows. “We have some new songs this year that I’m really excited for, like Goodness Gracious by Ellie Goulding.”

Additionally, the groups hope to add a more upbeat attitude to their performances.

“I hope that we can really bring audiences the joy of our music and hopefully we can make everybody happy, which is what music is all about,” said Scott Arbery, a new sophomore member of MAC.

The groups invite anyone with a singing background to try out for a specific spot that depends on their vocal range. Then, the groups meet together for the first time and experiment with the new tones and atmosphere. This method has produced great groups in the past. However, not everyone gets in on their first audition.

“I tried out my freshmen year because I saw the group led by Jake Smith and Ruben Roy. They had such a cool group and it seemed really fun,” said Arbery. “I’ve been in chorus my whole life so I thought that I had a good shot at making it.”

Even though Arbery didn’t make it on MAC during his freshmen year, he tried out again as a sophomore and made it on the group.

“I like singing and it always seemed like a lot of fun during the assemblies,” said Burrows. “I don’t do chorus so it’s a different thing to do that’s less intense.”

MAC and WAC host auditions for new members in May where participants have to complete multiple musical challenges.

“For WAC, the two student leaders, Julia Clark and Kali Holliday, take you into a room and you sing a verse and chorus from whatever song you want,” said Burrows. “Then there’s a part where you have to match pitch, which is when they play a note on the piano and you have to sing it back. Finally, they give you a piece of sheet music where they give you a starting note and then you have to sing the whole line.”

For these new members, performing offers a new chance for them to showcase their abilities.

“You definitely feel more of the energy when you are performing and it’s very exciting,” said Arbery. “I think performance is one of the most fun things I’ve been able to do at Westminster and I hope to continue that.”

Even though participants may not get in on their first try, they can always audition the next year.

“Try and get some coaching beforehand, either with Dr. Walters, Mr. Maynard, or another voice coach,” said Arbery. “Don’t be afraid to try it and get some of your friends to come with you.”

“Don’t be nervous at all because it’s so chill and you audition to students who are not going to judge you at all,” said Burrows.

This year’s leaders have begun practicing with new members and are hopeful for the upcoming acapella season. In fact, the groups have already integrated the new members among the veteran singers.

“I’ve been working with the new members for a couple months now so it seems like not a single person is a ‘new member’ anymore,” said senior MAC leader Jackson Alexander. MAC’s environment also houses close relationships and friendships.

“The bond between the members this year has been greater than every year I’ve been in the group,” said Alexander. “Everyone gets along well, as we can goof off and get music done. It’s just a great group this year.”

As a leader, Alexander hopes to continue the legacy left behind by past groups.

“We aren’t making massive “changes”, but we are aiming to get a lot more music learned then last year,” said Alexander.

For Alexander, being a leader means more than just being a lead singer in the group, as he has to be responsible for musical and social cohesion.

“As a leader, rehearsals are much more involved for me. I like leading groups so it makes the music we make much more rewarding,” said Alexander. “Also, I get to choose the music which is a plus.”

Similarly, WAC houses a strong bond between all members.

“There’s a great bond between the members of the group, and every Wednesday it’s so fun to catch up with everyone and have fun singing,” said WAC leader Julia Clark. “It’s awesome to be able to have such a close group of girls from all grades enjoy creating music together.”

“We increased the group size by a bit this year, so there are more members, but mostly we’re just doing what we’ve been doing,” said Clark. “As a group, we’re probably collectively looking forward to the semester assemblies most. They’re a great place to showcase what we’ve been working on this year.”

For MAC and WAC, the ultimate goal for any performance is to make audiences happy and left with a sense of excitement and intrigue.

“Being a leader for WAC instead of a member is definitely different; there’s an increase in personal responsibility to keep the group happy, sounding good, and having fun,” said Clark.

As the groups’ first performances draw near, audiences wait with anticipation to experience what Westminster’s acapella groups have to offer.