DePaul’s Acapella groups on campus leaves a lasting impact
on students by showcasing schools diversity.
By Celia Borg
CHICAGO-It is a time of year when the weather at DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus compliments the college environment. At the start of June, the campus consists of the flowers blossoming, students sporting trendy summer attire and creating summer plans, and group members at DePaul wrapping up their club activities for the quarter as the school year concludes.
During the spring quarter at DePaul, a few student organizations such as the DePaul Republican Club and the Black Student Union (BSU) have been making noise on campus due to the recent protest on Tuesday May 24th that has caused a huge controversy within the college community as many students and administration have voiced their concerns about their on social network platforms like Twitter and Facebook to the DePaul social media accounts. Though these groups have been getting local and media attention with their strong beliefs, there are other organizations on campus that have been expressing their beliefs in a different way, by singing!
At DePaul, acapella organizations have been quite common on campus. Acapella is a style of music that usually a group or an individual singer performs without any instrumental music but instead uses accompanied singing to replace these instruments that contribute to a regular song.
These acapella groups that contain an eclectic mix of different students from various backgrounds perform all around campus and other local venues. The DePaul Mens Acapella Group (DMAC), DePaul Womens Acapella Group (DWAC), and InterChorus, DePaul’s Co-ed Acapella group, are registered clubs on campus that contribute to the DePaul acapella community.
The array of students that are apart of these different groups embrace diversity and unity by sharing a love for something — singing!
“I think it is extremely vital that groups like DWAC and DMAC are promoting diversity through a creative outlet, especially from what has been happening on campus recently,” says Patrisia Vekima, freshman at DePaul and member of DWAC. “There are girls in this group that I have never thought I would talk to but being part of an acapella group sort of forces you to talk and work together with someone because that is the whole point of what the group is,” explains Vekima.
The first acapella group that was formed at DePaul was the mens’ group in 2003. Shortly after, the women’s group was found in 2004. It wasn’t until 2013 when InterChorus, the first ever co-ed acapella group at DePaul was established.
Madison Printen, president of InterChorus, is proud of what her group has accomplished. Creating InterChorus was a step for the DePaul community because it combines men and women, two different vocal ranges, and unifying their voices in a different style of a Capella,”says Printen, a graduating senior. “This group was created because their needed to be a broader spectrum of acapella groups that wasn’t limited or excluded anyone,” explains Printen.
DePaul’s acapella groups have been keeping busy since their emergence. All three of the groups have been performing at either events around the campus or performances in theaters and concert halls or other gigs around Chicago. On May 14, the men’s group performed at Lincoln Hall with over 300 people in attendance.
With this, there has also been a revival of the groups popularity as crowds of people flood their shows to see them perform a medley of songs of various genres from hip-hop to pop to country.
For some people apart of the acapella organizations, the unity and acceptance of the group has affected them ways they have never imagined before. Sebastian Achettu explains how being a member of DMAC has bettered his entire college experience. “Coming into college, I was a different person. I was more shy, only talked around my friends and the people I felt comfortable with but I wasn’t totally confident,” says Achettu, a DePaul sophomore.
“I was in theater in high school so I didn’t think DMAC would be all that different but man, was I wrong,” as he laughs gleefully. Achettu explains how he grew up a first-generation American, as his parents immigrated to the United States from India over 20 years ago. “Being a first-gen kid has always been interesting but once I got to college I became not only a first-gen American but also a first-generation college student and it was hard for me to grasp that some of my classmates were completely different from me and that made me feel weird, uneasy in a way,” says Achettu .
During his freshman year, Achettu joined DMAC and his perspective changed. “After I joined DMAC, I felt like a lot of the questions I was asking were answered by my fellow members in the group. I discovered that some of us were going through the same things and it made me realize that I needed to realize there is so many people in DMAC that are different from me and I need to accept and embrace that,” Achettu says.
DePaul’s acappela groups are definitely leaving a mark on participants’ lives. The unity that the musical form promotes from singing and working together reflects the unique minds and creativity that exists at DePaul. You can like these groups on Facebook by DePaul’s Men Acapella Group, DePaul’s Women’s Acapella Group, and Inter-Chorus, DePaul’s Co-Ed Acapella Group.