My Experience in 7Days A Cappella

When most people think about college a cappella, it’s not hard to imagine where their minds immediately wander. Pitch Perfect. The priceless film (and by priceless I really mean 113 million in the box office), which came to the big screen in 2012, rocked the country with the emergence of a seemingly brand new style of performing. What once was pushed aside as a lame after school club that only theater kids did, has now risen to a whole new level with the help of Hollywood, reality television shows (The Voice for example), and obviously the incredible talents of young singers on college campuses all across the world. It is an amazing concept if you stop and think about it; groups of young college students take to the stage, leave all of their differences and stress behind, and own their time in the spotlight with thousands of supporting fans singing along to their songs. Performing with an a cappella group makes you feel invincible- not only do you feel the rush of a high energy performance with thundering sound systems and blinding lights, but you also get to do it with friends by your side.

If I’m being completely honest, I did not originally come to college this psyched about a cappella music. Yes, I had seen the infamous movie that started it all, and yes, I had heard about a few groups at the U of MN through some friends, but I didn’t have my heart set. College was an intimidating transition into semi-adulthood and I wasn’t about to overfill my plate with commitments.

It wasn’t until I went to my first women’s choir rehearsal (which I only lasted 2 weeks in) that I found out about the 7Days auditions. After talking to a few altos in my section I was able to gather that they were the oldest a cappella group on campus (founded in 2003), they were co-ed, and they were looking for new singers. Without much thought, I went home, picked an audition song, looked up the date and time of the audition, and before long found myself walking in to Ferguson to sing for this mysterious group.

“Hi Hannah, welcome to auditions! Your call number is 82. We’ll let you know when they’re ready for you.”

“82?!” I thought to myself. “Great, there goes my chance.”

After sitting for what felt like hours and letting my nerves build, the friendly guy that welcomed me to auditions finally called number 82. I stood up, attempting to calm my shaking nerves, and followed him into the room.

“This is 82, and she will be singing Bluebird by Sara Bareilles.”

The guy walked out of the room and shut the door behind him, leaving me standing alone in complete silence, facing a makeshift wall made out of dividers and curtains (7Days does “blind” auditions, so their decision is solely based off singing ability). I could feel my heart hitting my chest so rapidly, as if it was telling me I was in danger or something. I really hate nerves. Without a second thought, I began singing. When I finished the chorus, I heard a group of voices say “Thank you!” from behind the curtain, and I turned and left.

That night I sat in my dorm room talking to my new college friends about the turmoil I had just put myself through.

“I really didn’t think I’d be that freaked out! I just kind of showed up, but then once I realized this audition was a big deal to a lot of people, the nerves hit me all at once. I honestly don’t even remember what my singing sounded like. I’m pretty sure I won’t get a call back.”

The whole time I was chatting with my friends, I continuously refreshed my email inbox, impatiently waiting for my rejection/call back/who the heck knew email to come in. Finally after hours of waiting, there it was. I screamed, covered it with my hands, and after a few deep breaths, slowly peeked at the glowing screen beneath my fingers. “Congratulations! ...” The first line read.

“WOOOOOOOOOO! LINDSEY! YES! I GOT A CALL BACK!!!”

I leaped off the futon and embraced my roommate. She laughed and congratulated me, probably taken aback by my sudden screech of excitement. Looking back, I don’t really know why making 7Days had suddenly become such a big deal to me, but from that moment on, I was hooked.

Without going into a ton of detail, I can tell you that I went to my call-back as prepared as I could’ve been, sang a lot more- this time face-to-face with the group members, and that night was fortunate enough to learn I had made the group. My reaction was basically the same as it had been the first time (although I did run up and down my dorm hallway screaming, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” a few times).

Since then, I have grown into a much better performer and gained overall self-confidence I never knew I had, because of my time in 7Days. As a group, we perform at various school functions, corporate events, private dinner parties, and festivals. My first year in the group, we went to ICCAs and were able to make it all the way to semi-finals (remember the competition from Pitch Perfect? Yeah it’s real). We host two concerts every fall and spring semester to showcase the music our group has learned, which varies across the spectrum. Some of my personal favorites from our current repertoire include Happy Ending by Mika, Chandelier by Sia, and Creep by Radiohead. We are a relatively small group, with only 18 members including myself- but I like that.

You will never be bored when you spend time with people in a cappella groups. What I would describe as a mish-mash of engineering, music, journalism, psychology, and theater students, basically sums up the people in 7Days.  We are funny, weird group of people and when we singing together, there is a contagious energy amongst one another to just let go and have fun. As a cappella continues to grow on the U of M’s campus, 7Days will always be a part of that excitement- finding interesting songs to perform, hosting more collaborative concerts with other groups, and simply having a good time with everyone around us.

-Hannah Sabroski

Scott MeyerComment