Categorized | Arts & Entertainment

Each Wooster a cappella group has unique spirit

Megan Tuennerman

Contributing Writer

For young adults of our generation, it may feel like a cappella came into the public eye only seven years ago, with the release of “Pitch Perfect” –– but the long and winding history of a cappella here on Wooster’s campus proves that is not the case. Today, Wooster has six unique a cappella groups: A Round of Monkeys, Shades of Gold, Woo Sang Clan, After These Messages, COWBelles and Merry Kuween of Skots. Each group has a distinct history and story that adds to the rich history of our college as a whole. 

Each group consists of about 13 members, and the makeup for each is distinct. A capella on campus is not just for music majors, but for anyone with a passion for singing. That inclusivity creates a familial environment within the groups that is evident when they perform. A perfect example of this are the core values of the COWBelles — “friendship, fun and music” — according to current president Dzifa Adjei ’20. 

Each group has individual concerts and events, but the yearly concert of all the groups is a cornerstone of the campus community. Not to mention, many students can likely remember a performance from one of the groups when they visited the college as a prospective student, thus, ingraining a cappella into the Wooster experience no matter your interests. 

Along with that same Woo spirit, each group has its own traditions. Members of both COWBelles and A Round of Monkeys have special nicknames with pertinence to their group. 

After These Messages is the oldest all-female acapella group on campus. Their distinctive feature is that they perform brief commercial breaks in between their songs — their favorite old-timey commercial is Coca Cola, according to the school website. 

Merry Kuween of Skots was the first all-male a capella group on campus. They sing classic songs, such as “Carry on My Wayward Sons” by Kansas, along with contemporary songs like “Mr. Brightside” by the Killers. The group encourages members to test their creativity by arranging new music to add to their repertoire as well. 

Not only does a cappella influence life on campus, but multiple groups are involved in charitable work off campus as well. The COWBelles have a tradition of performing at Relay for Life in honor of a COWBelles alum with terminal cancer. Woo Sang Clan is charity-based, and holds a charity event on campus every semester, allowing for them to truly perform for the community.

The history and traditions of a cappella on campus is representative of Wooster as a whole. Each group is widely different, but all of them create a special welcoming place for students on campus. 

(Photo courtesy Cat Baker)

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