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A spirit that is not afraid

MelAUdic women's a cappella group seeks to create community

MelAUdic, Auburn University's women's a cappella group, held auditions on Aug. 24 and 25 at the Goodwin Music Hall. They were on the hunt for three to five newcomers to add to their existing 11 members.

It was a competitive two days, as 11 girls auditioned for the few open spots. Each day consisted of girls stopping by to perform a 30-second prepared song. They also were tested on their vocal range, ability to match pitch and identify the interval between notes. 

Final decisions were made shortly after auditions closed on Thursday. Five girls were welcomed to MelAUdic.  

MelAUdic began in spring 2020, and the organization sings for Auburn events, host concerts and socialize at various get-togethers. MelAUdic’s focus is on improving musical skills while creating a community for fellow music lovers.

“We are just trying to share music, share who we are,” said Emily Thomson, junior in music education and vice president of MelAUdic. 

Starting this group during the COVID-19 pandemic presented many challenges. “We didn't have our first concert until a full year after we were founded,” said Stephanie Kalinowski, senior in biomedical sciences and president of MelAUdic. She recalled the troubles of trying to perform over Zoom.

“Since then, we've had four concerts, which were amazing,” Kalinowski said. MelAUdic’s main challenge now is finding a consistent venue for performances. 

From singing at an Auburn women’s basketball game to performing at a local coffee shop, the a cappella group has started to grow in rhythm. 

"We want them to be able to come and express themselves and to build their confidence in their music ability,” said Lila Meadows, senior in music and the group's director. Meadows is responsible for picking and teaching the music. 

“My first semester we had a small concert that was three songs long. And then sometimes we'll have one that's eight songs,” Thomson said. 

According to Thomson, concerts typically last anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour. Last year’s shows included a spring concert, Christmas concert, fall concert and MelAUdic's favorites.

They have also collaborated with Full Auctave, Auburn University's men’s a cappella ensemble, in the past. At these concerts, both groups sing two to three songs together and then split up the remaining music. 

In order to put on these performances, it all starts with the group deciding a theme. Meadows then picks the music for everyone to learn. 

“I really like making sure everybody has a say in what we are putting on,” Meadows said.

Next comes the challenge of memorizing the notes so that they become muscle memory. It’s not until this is perfected that the a cappella group can then stylize their voices to the music and add in choreography. 

MelAUdic’s next upcoming concert will be in mid-October and will have a decades theme.

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Caroline Mason | News Writer

Caroline Mason, junior in professional flight, is a news writer at The Plainsman.

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