This year, the W&Jaybirds student-run a cappella choir is revolutionizing its performance repertoire. With an all new executive board, new ideas are plentiful. The new President of the group, Kenny Clark ’18, is excited to take the group in a slightly different direction this year.
For fall performances, the W&Jaybirds will bring back the fan favorite “Disney Medley,” which is an original piece arranged by an alumnus of the group, Travis Clark ’16. The piece will include popular Disney songs like “I Can Go the Distance,” “A Whole New World” and “Love is an Open Door.” However, this year the group will attempt to deviate from simple, predictable pop songs, instead performing classic, energetic hits with a traditional a cappella sound.
There will be a special focus on holiday-themed music: for the fall performances, there is hope of singing a spooky Halloween-themed piece, and the Christmas repertoire will consist of fun holiday hits. The new pieces will be challenging for the singers to learn, but the executive board believes that hard work and a passion for singing will ultimately pay off.
Auditions took place on Monday and Tuesday evenings of this week. While the auditions were meant to be low-stress, several of the students who auditioned were nervous. Auditions consisted of sight-reading, range testing, and performing a short snippet of a pop song. Audition numbers swelled on Monday and Tuesday; as a result of the many talented Presidents who auditioned, there will be 24 members this year, which is double the amount of members of the choir last year.
17 of the W&Jaybirds are completely new to the choir, so the influx of new ideas will help the group to achieve its full potential. “I’m really excited about all of the new members this year,” said returning member Danny Gavlik ’19. “We were a small group last year, so it’s awesome that our numbers doubled. I think that all of the new voices are going to blend well and create a cool new sound.” The W&Jaybirds will meet twice per week for rehearsals, and they will perform sporadically throughout the year at choir concerts, campus events and Monti’s. “I think that the W&Jaybirds is a really unique ensemble,” said President Kenny Clark. “Since we’re a student-run group, we have a lot of flexibility. We can change the sound and direction of the group to make it the best it can be.” Rehearsals start next week, and all of the W&Jaybirds, returning and new, are excited to begin learning new music.