Beat boxing, altos, sopranos, tenor and bass, along with dance moves, grasp students’ attention, as harmonizing body movements weave themselves into a musical medley.
Every Friday afternoon, a group of CSUN students step out into the lawn next to Sierra Tower and create music with their vocals without the aid of instruments.
The first a cappella group to be formed at CSUN is holding auditions beginning March 5 in Nordhoff Hall, room 209, from 5 to 7 p.m., through March 7 in the music dorm building from 4 to 7 p.m. The plan is to expand the group for competitions and other events.
“I think we represent unity, mainly because we represent so many different nationalities and backgrounds,” said Michelle Denov, an occupational and environmental health major who has played the piano for 13 years. “We’re so diverse, not just with musical background,” she said.
They participated in a competition at USC on Feb. 10 and networked with other Inter-Charter Collegiate a cappella groups from different campuses around California. But before entering the competition, high standards were expected from the group’s members.
Acasola, as the group calls themselves, first joined together on Oct. 1. As a team of nine complete strangers, they needed to create a demo, and they only had a month to do so.
“It took us a while to learn how to blend with one another,” said Denov, who auditioned in late September. “We dealt with the whole musicality of singing songs.”
Practice is key to perfection. Acasola made sure practice was not taken lightly. The group practices twice a week for two hours each session.
“Our definition of having a good time is singing, rehearsing and practicing efficiently,” said Chase Deluca, a senior business management major, founder of CSUN’s a cappella group.
“We have a wholesome spirit, have fun for fun’s sake, and live life happy because life is awesome,” he said.
Deluca said he had wanted to be part of an A cappella group since graduating from high school. He envied his peers, some of who are attendees of Yale University, which had 18 a cappella groups, and USC, which had six groups, in October 2006.
Deluca then had a revelation. He decided to take the initiative in starting the group.
Ever since, Deluca has worked hard to raise the awareness of Acasola. Posting fliers and spreading the word, he said the response has been positive.
“I found out that a lot of people were just like me,” said Deluca. “They wanted it too. Half of the group wished something like this existed before.”
Tillie Spencer, a senior art history major, is the music director who met Deluca before the rest of the group members did. Her aunt worked in the education building and happened to see a flyer. The CSUN staff mentioned it to Spencer and began working with Deluca. They held auditions and seven CSUN students joined thereafter.
Acasola is self-funded and manages to go on retreats to places like Big Bear, which was their first trip together in November. This was a chance for the members to get to know each other “This group is the warmest and welcoming people,” said Mary Thornton who is a freshman at CSUN. “I feel like they are my second family.”
This group which seems like family to each other set up goals to have a house, much like a fraternity house, in five years. They plan to be financial independent and to perform at paid gigs. Currently they are planning a Northern California tour for 2008. They would also like to create a CD once a year.
“People say we’re not a fraternity, a performing group or a social club but we are all of the above,” Deluca said.