By OLIVIA TAYLOR
This past Saturday, one of the UMW acapella groups, One Note Stand, competed in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella Mid-Atlantic Quarterfinal at George Washington University. This event brought together 10 acapella groups from around the region to compete for the chance to advance and perform in the semifinal competition in Philadelphia.
One Note Stand placed third overall in the event, coming in behind The GW Vibes from George Washington University in second and No Ceiling from the College of William & Mary in first place. There were also several individual awards given for best vocal percussion, best arrangement and best soloist.
One Note Stand competed in the event for the first time last year, but placed for the first time this year. President of the group Alli Jakubek, a senior economics major, talked about the differences between this year and last year.
“Last year we were just happy to have the opportunity to go,” said Jakubek. “We were much more prepared this year. We knew what we were getting ourselves into, so we started working on our set as soon as we got back to school.”
The group recorded an audition tape and sent it in for the chance to compete in October and found out that they qualified in November.
“When we got on stage, everyone was so professional, relaxed and excited. There were no nerves. We were just so excited to show the audience all the hard work we’ve put in for the past few months,” said Jakubek.
What set One Note Stand apart from the rest of the competitors is that they arrange all of their own music and choreography. The group’s set consisted of three different songs: “Look What You Made Me Do” by Taylor Swift, “Milk and Honey” by Jessarae and “Believer” by Imagine Dragons. Soloists included Karen Smith, Shannan Mitchell and Alli Jakubek respectively.
The group has gone through a period of transition to focus on becoming a more serious and competitive group than in previous years, according to Jakubek.
“This year, we’re a lot more honest with each other and with ourselves. We learned from previous mistakes and really harnessed the strengths of our group,” said Jakubek.
The group really put in the effort in order to make this accomplishment happen. Jakubek continued, “Everyone was present at each rehearsal leading up to the competition. We were organized, focused, and motivated. We built off of our strengths and held outside workshops to fix problem spots in our set.”
The competition was stiff for the event with a lot of exceptional talent from all of the groups. It was an experience to get feedback as a group.
“It felt so rewarding to be recognized for all of our hard work, and to have concrete evidence that we sound good,” said Karen Smith, senior environmental science major. “As a group member, you never know what the group sounds like when you’re in it, because no audio or video recording sounds like the real performance. It’s great to get a professional opinion about our sound, and to be recognized for it in front of a thousand people. Words really can’t describe it. I’m just so proud of the group.”
The group hopes to use this momentum in order to finish the rest of the semester out strong. There will be other opportunities to hear The One Note Stand, including the 10 year group anniversary concert on