Emmelodics heighten a cappella accessibility

The repertoire of Geneseo’s newest a cappella group Emmelodics includes upbeat songs like “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, “Let It Go” from Frozen and “On Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons. Much like the set list, the members of Emmelodics are bright and optimistic when it comes to harmonizing their character with the campus community and the other four established a cappella groups. Emmelodics is the product of eight musically dedicated students, many of whom didn’t quite make the cut for the a cappella audition process in fall 2013. They started the organization in September to make more room in the a cappella community for students interested in pursuing the new performance medium.

“We thought that everybody we were working with was incredibly talented and there wasn’t enough space in the a cappella groups to show off all the talent,” Emmelodics President junior Brooke Jordan said.

The group name comes from the official name for the bear fountain on Main Street, the Emmeline Austin Wadsworth Fountain. Combining music with local history brought forth the name “Emmelodics.”

When seeking official college recognition, the original eight members faced the problem of differentiating Emmelodics from other campus a cappella groups. Their solution was a more open and accessible format on all fronts. They are open to performing underused genres, like country music, incorporating more soloists and including choreography in their performances. The group has also started hosting open rehearsals regularly for those who are unsure whether or not they want to make the large commitment an a cappella group requires.

After gaining recognition and holding unconventionally late auditions at the beginning of the spring semester, the group is composed of 20 students with varying majors, class years and levels of musical and a cappella experience.

“I think what’s impressed me the most this semester is how enthusiastic and willing to put time aside these newer members of the group have been,” Emmelodics vocal percussion coach senior Christian Perfas said.

Before their first concert on March 25, Emmelodics members were learning one song a day to complete their six-song set list.

While the organization is booked for more gigs this semester than it can handle, with more time to rehearse and strengthen its core, members see a huge wellspring of potential growth on the horizon.

“As a brand new a cappella group, the expectation to sound amazing is something that’s lengthened over a period of time, like four or five years. I was really hoping that we could get to that level as quick as we can,” Perfas said. “Based off our developmental point right now, we’re doing great, and I want to see the group continue to grow.”