There are so many a cappella groups on campus, sometimes it’s tough to keep track.
With rehearsals, concerts, competitions and recordings, as well as repertoires ranging from pop to indie, each a cappella group at Elon University boasts its own particular identity.
While Rip_Chord has been Elon’s lone all-male group since its establishment in 2006, junior Montez Brown and sophomore Cody Schmidt have broken this six-year precedent by founding newest all-male a cappella group, Smooth Progressions.
“Over the past few years I have become aware of the immense amount of vocal talent on campus that often gets neglected due to limited space in other groups and performances,” Brown said. “I decided that starting one more would create new opportunities for students to showcase those talents.”
The group’s inauguration has been in the works for months.
Beginning September 2012, Brown and Schmidt worked with the Office of Student Life, specifically with student worker Lauren Wilkins and head of the entertainment cluster Janis Baughman, to complete Elon’s very specific procedure for the creation of new a cappella groups.
The process included filling out paperwork, choosing an adviser, creating bylaws for the organization and, finally, awaiting approval from Smith Jackson, vice president and dean of Student Life.
Five months later, Smooth Progressions has been approved. The group is now moving forward by configuring its ensemble singers, as well as its personal style.
“The interest meeting on Jan. 14 had a great turnout,” Brown said. “But I’d like to complete the audition process and figure out the genre and types of music the group will perform based on the types of vocal styles that come together.”
With a number of opportunities that have already popped up, Brown hopes to put on a concert by the end of the semester. He said the next few months will require immense hard work from future Smooth Progressions members to sound as good as possible for their first performance.
Even on a small campus with four pre-existing a cappella ensembles, Brown said the group is not focused on being better or creating a more unique group than Vital Signs, Sweet Signatures, Twisted Measure or Rip_Chord.
“Being a college a cappella group, there will obviously be similarities across the board,” he said. “Our hope is just to entertain the campus and bring a new sound in the process.”