by HALEY SCHNITZER
On Sunday, March 27, UMW a capella group The One Note Stand competed in the Blue Tie Affair Invitational hosted by Christopher Newport University. Although the group did not place in the competition, this was The One Note Stand’s first off-campus competition since the start of the pandemic, making it the first off-campus competition for many of the One Note Stand singers.
This event, organized by Christopher Newport’s Extreme Measures, brought together seven a capella groups from universities across Virginia. Competing against UMW’s The One Note Stand was Virginia Tech’s TechNotes, James Madison University’s Overtones, George Mason University’s Mason Some Noise, Christopher Newport’s Newport Pearls, William & Mary University’s DoubleTake and William & Mary’s Cleftomaniacs.
Kendall Wilkinson, president of The One Note Stand and a junior psychology major in the education program, discussed COVID’s impact on a capella at UMW.
“Only three of our group members were [One Note Stand members] before COVID and got to experience a capella competitions outside of Mary Washington, so it definitely impacted our group to have had the majority of our members never having had this sort of experience before,” said Wilkinson.
Leading up to the competition, Wilkinson reported “feeling a little bit nervous, but definitely excited. In the last few rehearsals leading up to it, we could notice our group sounding better and better, and that everyone became more confident with the songs, which boosted morale and helped everyone feel prepared.”
The One Note Stand meets three times a week in order to perfect their songs and arrangements in preparation for events. A consistent meeting schedule helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page, as a capella requires great cohesion between singers.
The One Note Stand opted to perform an eclectic assortment of songs: Nathan Sykes’ “Good Things Come to Those Who Wait,” Andrea di Giovanni’s “Shame Resurrection” and Imagine Dragons’ “Warriors.”
Soloists included Libby York, Emma Manger and Alexi Woodward.
“It was so nerve-wracking being on stage soloing in front of all of those people, but it was the encouragement from the group that gave me the confidence boost to go out there and do it!” said Manger, a sophomore music major and the business director of The One Note Stand.
Sophomore sociology major and One Note singer Quincy DuBois referred to this competition as “a great learning experience.” DuBois, who joined The One Note Stand amid the pandemic, added that joining the group has helped to facilitate “growth as a singer alongside some of the coolest people I know.”
Although COVID prevented The One Note Stand from entering any competitions off-campus, they have been able to participate in on-campus events. Back in October, The One Note Stand competed and placed first in Night of The Singing Dead, an a capella competition held on UMW’s campus for the various a capella groups of Mary Washington.
Grayson Jones, a sophomore computer science major and The One Note Stand singer, described being a member of the group as “incredibly rewarding. It feels great to sing with a group of people who are just as passionate and fun-loving as you are.”
Speaking on the group’s performance, Wilkinson said, “Although we didn’t place at the competition, I think all of us were really happy our group members got to experience what it’s like to go to an a capella competition, to hear other groups and meet other people.”
The One Note Stand’s Assistant Music Director, Cassie Atkinson, a junior political science and communication and digital studies major, is looking forward to future competitions.
“Now that we’ve all shared that experience together, I’m looking forward to see what we can achieve next,” said Atkinson. “I really think we can only go up from here.”
There will be many opportunities in both the near and distant future to see The One Note Stand at UMW. The One Note Stand will be hosting a spring concert in Dodd Auditorium on Friday, April 22 at 5:30 p.m. For this concert, Jones said that The One Note Stand plans to “rework the songs [performed at CNU] to perfect them along with a few other songs we’re excited to perform for the first time.”
Plus, if their slogan holds any truth, “the walk of shame never sounded so good!”