UCLA has a vibrant music scene, boasting of over a dozen a cappella groups. I thought I’d give a quick breakdown of the groups here at UCLA for all ye acapeople :)
- Single-sex A Cappella Groups:
- All Male:
- Bruin Harmony
- All Female:
- Random Voices
- Signature A Cappella
- Cadenza A Cappella
- Awechords A Cappella
- Resonance A Cappella
- Awaken A Cappella
- Scattertones A Cappella
- Deviant Voices
- Medleys A Cappella
- Road to Damascus A Cappella (Christian A Cappella Group)
- Youthphonics A Cappella (Service A Cappella Group)
- TAU A Cappella (Mandarin Song A Cappella Group)
- Naya Zamaana A Cappella (South Asian A Cappella Group)
- SouLA A Cappella (Chinese A Cappella)
- And more! There are a couple of unregistered-groups (or so I’ve heard) who are just starting out.
- All Male:
Each fall, (and also select groups during the winter and spring) these A Cappella groups on campus hold auditions to welcome new aca-talent into their ranks. Most of the a cappella groups have sign-ups available via acaspot.com, an inter-collegiate a cappella website. The audition process usually consists of an initial audition (where you show off your individual talent), and callbacks, where you will sing with the group to see how well you mesh with the group.
The audition process is generally quite laid back and can be a lot of fun. It vaguely resembles a rush process since most a cappella groups hold auditions all through the first week of fall quarter and it is common for auditionees to schedule auditions back-to-back. The first audition generally consists of vocal warmups (scales whatnot) to warm up your vocal chords and test your range, a verse or two from a song you choose yourself, tonal memory and/or sight reading and perhaps a couple of questions for fun.
After auditions, a group of auditionees will be invited back to callbacks. Callbacks are a mock-practice of sorts: auditionees are asked to learn music and sing with the group. Usually it is structured in a similar manner to the regular practices that each group has.
Why join A Cappella?
Regardless of the singing experience you have, I encourage anyone who is interested at singing at a collegiate level to audition! Whether you have a decade of professional singing under your belt or just a decade of belting out your favorite tunes in the shower, a cappella is a lot of fun, and you get to meet a bunch of people who share similar interests. It’s a great way to make friends and grow as a musician! I’ve had a blast singing with Awechords this year. In addition to creating lasting friendships (you see each other up to five hours or more each week), you’ll have the opportunity to perform at an assortment of gigs both on and off campus. For musicians looking for a more-portable instrument (I sure had to make a lot of sacrifices instrument-wise when I came to college), singing is definitely the way to go!
Good luck, choose a killer audition song that showcases all your aca-talent, and most importantly, have fun! I can’t wait to hear all of you during fall.