By Rachel Stevens
There is a new a capella group on the Catholic University campus this semester. In addition to Red Line and Take Note, The “Washingtones” was planned last semester in response to an increased demand for a capella on campus and is beginning this year. The group is headed by junior international finance and economics major Madeline Baker, sophomore music major Olivia Fiore, sophomore business marketing major Joel Defensor, and sophomore mechanical engineering major Travis Duchene.
Baker herself had previously auditioned for both Red Line and Take Note, the other two a capella groups on campus, but always felt a calling to lead her own group. Fortunately, Baker was not alone in her quest to begin a new a capella group. With three other friends passionate about singing, they came together to begin planning the group in spring of 2018.
“I myself auditioned for the two existing groups last year, and I was called back for one. There were about 16 people called back, and they took about 3,” said Baker.
“So I realized that so many talented people on campus wanted into these groups. I felt that there was a sufficient demand for another group.”
With any new campus organization, there is always the task of naming the group something eye-catching and fun. With clever organization names already in use it took some brainstorming to produce what would be the group’s recognized name.
“It was actually the idea of one of my friends back home! We brainstormed over some pizza rolls, he suggested it, and voila, we had our name,” said Baker.
At Fall Festival on September 3, the executive board tabled in hopes to recruit students for auditions. The response was enough to hold both auditions and callbacks. Auditions were around 5 minutes each and consisted of singing pieces of a chosen song by the student. At callbacks, potential candidates were taught an arrangement by one of their executive board members Travis, of “All Time Low” by John Bellion. After callbacks, the group is 21 members.
The Washingtones plan to sing for the first time together at the annual “Spookapella” event in October. Aside from that event, the group will be at other major campus events throughout the year and are hoping to plan their own events and fundraisers for future semesters.
“I would like to become as established as the other groups on campus and make it to some a cappella competitions. We’re also working towards some embroidered bomber jackets,” said Baker in regards to her hopes for the future of the group.
Keep your ears open this year for the new sounds of The Washingtones around Catholic University’s campus.