WAC kicks off new year with annual retreat

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     As the new school year kicks off, WAC members prepare for the upcoming year by participating in the annual WAC retreat. Though planned mainly by parents of WAC members, co-leaders Anna Davis and Emily Seo have a lot of input on what takes place during the two days. In addition to organizing the activities for the retreat, their role as WAC leaders includes deciding who the solos are given to, choosing arrangements, and running weekly rehearsals that take place on Wednesday nights. 

     This year’s retreat took place on Lake Sinclair over Aug. 17 and 18. Members engaged in activities such as tubing, rope swinging, and swimming at the lakehouse as well as various bonding exercises to help connect with their fellow team members. The retreat also served as a head start on preparing for this year’s performances. The girls also began practicing“Fidelity” by Regina Spektor and “Love of My Life” by Queen.

     Since WAC members range from freshmen to seniors, another part of familiarizing themselves with the group involves getting acquainted with upper and lower classmen. One of the main goals on the retreat was for younger students to meet singers who have been in the program for a longer time. This bonding is a crucial part of the season, and as sophomore Norah Lascar explains, the retreat helped to accomplish this in a relaxed setting.

     “I think the retreat makes us more comfortable at the beginning of the year so we aren’t rushing to learn songs when we have to perform so early in the year,” said junior Amelia Bergeron, who joined as a sophomore. “Also, it helps everyone understand what WAC is like, especially for new members, and sets the tone in terms of discipline and expectations at the beginning.” 

     The retreat also establishes disciplinary actions and expectations. The girls undergo a rigorous audition process and upon acceptance into the a capella group are given high standards. They are then selected for call backs, where they are asked to sing as a group to experiment with group dynamic. Bergeron said that the upcoming performances are going to be more similar to MAC as far as their interactivity. Since many of the members are also a part of Westminster’s chorus, their musical backgrounds are more classically oriented. This year, they want to incorporate more duets and complicated harmonies to create a more energizing performance. 

     “For example, this year someone is beat boxing, so we’re just trying to make it more dynamic,” said senior and second-year WAC member Claire Emch. 

     The student body anticipates the reappearance of the a capella group in upcoming assemblies, the majority opinion being that they hope to see more arrangements with the same vibrant energy as “Lush Life,” which was featured in the spring concert.

     In addition to experimenting with new sounds in these next few performances, most of the girls shared similar hopes for the upcoming year. These included investing themselves in the group more as well as spending more time with each other outside of the program. They hope to continue the tradition of the annual retreat as well as plan more events throughout the school year. 

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