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So You Think You Can Sing?

Written by Shanan Glandz

Premium Blend, IC's all-female a cappella group

Thanks to its musical roots, Ithaca offers something for all talented singers, no matter what major or course of study. Ithacappella, the College's all-male a cappella group, is just one example.

Founded in 1996 by four members of the Phi Mu Alpha music fraternity, Ithacappella was an alternative for male students who wanted to sing outside of the music school. Any IC male singer is invited to audition. “We’re just looking for guys who are enthusiastic and guys who are talented singers,” says Tim Nowak ’07, former president of Ithacappella. Freshmen are also welcome to join. “We’ve had at least two freshmen every year,” he adds.

So, you like to sing and you want to travel? No problem. According to Nowak, “We have two tours every year: the fall tour, which is more of a regional tour, and the winter tour, which we’re trying to make into a national tour.”

Last winter, the group traveled to San Francisco, where they conducted workshops for high school choral groups and performed in places like Ghirardelli Square and Oakland City Center. They also sang the national anthem at a San Jose Sharks hockey game and a Golden City Warriors basketball game.

Ithacappella’s annual tours have helped spread the word about the guys and the College. As a result, Acappellooza, an annual event coordinated by Ithacappella and sponsored by Ithaca College, has also been growing in popularity every year. “It’s an [a cappella] invitational,” Nowak explained. “We reserve the State Theatre [in downtown Ithaca] every year, and we invite groups from all over the East Coast.”

“This year we had a lot of the local radio stations sponsor it; they’ve given away tickets and run commercials. It gets bigger every year,” says A. J. Mizes ’09, Ithacappella’s vice president. Ithacappella runs the gamut of musical styles, from alternative rock to good old-fashioned rock ’n’ roll, but they never stray far from their choral roots. “As the guys who founded it intended, we still do traditional choral arrangements, which is different from most a cappella groups in the country,” Nowak says.

But even traditional songs don’t require traditional training. “We don’t care what major you are. It’s about whether you like singing and are good at it,” he adds. If you like music and performance, you’ll find ample opportunity to make them part of your life at Ithaca. “For talented singers, there are plenty of groups and ways to get involved on campus,” Nowak notes. “Just cast your net and see what you can get involved in. We’re just one group in a sea of many.”

Here's a video of Ithacappella performing in California.


Want to see more? Check out video of Ithacappella performing with Incubus!



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