Above: the Vocal Group in action. Credit: UCD Musical Society on Facebook.
Dylan O’Neill tells us all why we should give the Musical Society’s Vocal Group a try.
This week, our intrepid reporter decided to try his hand at the performing arts and attended the Vocal Group with UCD Musical Society.
The Vocal Group is a non-audition based performance group that meets every Monday from 6-8pm in the Student Centre, and learns numbers taught by the very talented Vocal Group directors: Hazel Madden and Mary McGowan. Together, with the assistance of their dedicated subcommittee, they teach the harmonies and melodies to many well-known and beloved musical theatre songs as well as choreographing the numbers, so they’re ready for the stage.
Now if that sounds daunting to you, don’t worry. As it is a non-audition group, there are people with a variety of experience, ranging from the complete novice (yours truly!) to the more seasoned attendees. Vocal Group accommodates them all.
In preparation for the Showcase on the 29th March, we sung our hearts out to the upbeat tempo of “Welcome to the Sixties” from Hairspray and “There’s No Business Like Show Business” from Annie Get Your Gun!, keeping with the theme of ‘Musicals Through the Ages’.
Before we began singing a note, we first warmed up with the musical stylings of Bumblebee Tuna and 1-2-1. Let me tell you here and now, never have I ever found it harder to count to eight and back.
After the melodies were perfected and the solos assigned, we put away the lyrics and polished those dance shoes, to learn the choreography of “Welcome to the Sixties”. For about an hour, we rehearsed the steps along with the backing track, and eventually it looked like we were a chorus ready to open on the West End (or at least Astra Hall.) We then revised the number we had learned last week, which was “Let the Sunshine In” from Hair. I told myself that that was enough exercise for the week and went to the Clubhouse with a few members I had just met.
The general vibe of people was overwhelming positive as I talked to people who were there for their first time, and those who had been going to Vocal Group for years. Some said how their confidence had increased from coming to Vocal Group week in week out, while others said how they just came for the craic and had made friends there.
So whether you know all the words to the “Witch’s Rap” or haven’t a clue who Lin-Manuel Miranda is, the Vocal Group is a great way to take time out from a busy schedule of assignments and exams and just have fun. Also, a little birdie told me, that a revolutionary musical was in the foreseeable future.