Senior Bert Brokaw has rapidly become an important member of Rip_Chord, Elon University's only all-male a cappella group. Brokaw, a strategic communications major, is about to embark upon what could be Rip_Chord's most exciting year yet, including an appearance on the "Voices Only 2012" college a cappella compilation album. The Pendulum caught up with Brokaw for a sneak preview of the group's upcoming semester.
Q: You've been heavily involved with Rip_Chord during your time at Elon. What about the group appealed to you?
A: I was originally really nervous about coming to Elon because I didn't think I could find an organization that I would fit into. I saw Rip_Chord perform at spring orientation and was blown away by both the diversity of the group and the chemistry that they all had on stage.
Q: Your concerts cover a wide range of music, from old to new. What has been your favorite song to perform throughout the years, and why?
A: My favorite song that we performed was our Disney medley that was featured on our last album, "Pitch, Please." It really became a group staple, and was so much fun to sing. We're hoping to make another Disney medley at some point this year.
Q: How did you guys get the song "It Girl" on Voices Only 2012?
A: We were actually extremely surprised when we got on the compilation. At the time, "It Girl" was the only song that we had finished recording for our new CD. So, where most groups were submitting entire albums, we were only able to submit one (song). We are incredibly thankful to be part of the compilation.
Q: What's next for Rip_Chord this semester? We hear you guys have a tour in the works.
A: The most exciting announcement for us is that we're going to be releasing our new album, "Baby Back Rips" at the fall organization fair. We made sure to keep this album as up-to-date as possible, and it features many songs that we still perform including "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz and "Some Nights" by Fun. We're also going on our first tour since the group's origin. During fall break we're going to be singing at different schools across the East Coast.
Q: How valuable is a cappella performance to Elon’s campus culture?
A: I think a cappella is actually very important on Elon's campus. There are four groups, despite our relatively small student population, and each group averages more than 200 attendees at their seasonal concerts. To me, it shows that a cappella music is an essential part of the college experience.