On Friday, Feb. 8, the Baylor Vocal Ensemble performed its debut during assembly with acapella pieces such as "When I Fall In Love," which heralded the upcoming Valentine's Day. Although it was their first performance, it was a huge success; the beautiful voices of the singers impressed the audience making it a show they would certainly remember.
The Baylor Vocal Ensemble is a small vocal group consisting of 23 passionate and skillful choir members including sopranos: Charlotte Wang, Anastasia Fischer, Kara Anne Smith, Sharnima Jones, Hope Fowler, Sydney Cansler, Lucy Woodrow, and Samara Crouse; and altos: Sarah Rutledge, Lexie Edwards, Natalie Lopez-Durel, Skylar Brown, Sophie Wisenbaker, Dana Mays, and Kate Rogers; tenors: Creighton Arrington, Charlie Smith, Riley Grove, and Seth Johnson; basses: Theo Maedgen, Patrick Stultz, Erik Fong, and Matthew Huinker. Members of the group come from all grades.
Unlike the concert choir, the ensemble works mainly on the acapella adaptation of popular, modern songs. The ensemble singers all volunteered to be a part of this group because of their love and passion for music. Organized and directed by Baylor choir director Vic Oakes, the group gathers during community time, lunch periods, and sometimes during choir class after other students are dismissed early. Though they put in extra effort and show commitment, they appreciate the value experience singing with this unique group. They also value the time that they get to spend with each other; "I'm really glad to be a part of the choir group that can let lose and sing with people that I know that are committed to making good music and having fun at the same time," said senior Riley Grove, the president of the concert choir and prominent figure in the ensemble. "It's really nice to be able to spend time doing one of my favorite things with people who share my love of music and are willing to put forth the extra effort and make something beautiful together," said another senior member of the group.
According to Oakes, this idea to bring together some student to create a vocal ensemble has been in his mind for a while. He has attempted to organize an ensemble for the past three years, but the plan failed due to scheduling difficulties. He is so glad that his idea of the ensemble came to fruition this year. His original plan was to have only 16 members; when the sign-up number exceeded his expectation, he chose to accept all of the singers rather than conducting an audition, "I do not want to make music a competition," said Oakes. "Isn't it true that one amazing point about things like choir is that you can do an amazing thing together with a lot of people?"
Although singers did not go through any selective process, they are highly committed and have the ability to achieve great success as they have displayed during the assembly performance. Personally, I'm glad that we got such a chance to pursue our passion and that we did such a great job. We will continue to pursue our passion and improve. Currently, the ensemble is working on a new piece named "Seize The Day" that will soon be performed for the Baylor community.