A Snapshot of Columbia’s Performing Arts Scene Featuring: The Columbia Metrotones
My friend, Camille Allen, is currently a first-year at Barnard College and joined The Columbia Metrotones: "Columbia University's premier all-female a capella group" this past fall semester. In this interview, she details her exciting experience as a new member to the team. Enjoy!
1) Why did you decide to audition for The Columbia Metrotones?
I remember during callbacks the Tones welcoming prospective newbies for our second round of auditions with bagels, tea and just plain and simple good energy. I was nervous and wanted to make a good impression, so it was such a relief when members of the group made me feel at home. Genuinely good energy brought me to the Metrotones and it's just one of the many reasons I'm so proud to call myself a member of the group.
2) What's your favorite aspect of being apart of this acapella group?
Every acapella group on campus is talented and worth checking out, but the Metrotones are unique because we're a sisterhood and a family. We're also incredibly goofy which I love! There's space to be whoever you are and we want to support you in that. While we do strive to produce the best sound, we also support and love each other in the process. Case in point: when you're sick we bring you soup AND our member Abby bakes fresh challah bread.
3) What type of gigs/showcases does your group perform at?
The most memorable performances for us would definitely have to include singing at a Bernie Sanders rally with Vampire Weekend, a wedding at the New York Yacht Club and a charity gala in the whale room of the Museum of Natural History. Most recently, we sang at the tree lighting on campus and at the Holiday Train Show at New York Botanical Garden. We get lots of requests to sing on and off campus and we love to do it!
4) Describe a typical practice session.
We rehearse on Wednesday and Sunday evenings for about two hours, and Sundays are definitely my favorite. It's so nice at the end of the weekend to get back into the week by checking in with the Tones. We begin rehearsals with warm ups and then move into pieces, usually learning new pieces first. Our musical directors arrange our songs, so they'll call up vocal parts one by one to start learning their notes, rhythm, etc. In the meantime, other parts are going over their music and just working on school work. After all the vocal sections have learned their parts, we come together as a group to start putting the arrangement together.
5) One piece of advice you would give to a prospective student interested in joining an acapella/performing arts group on campus?
The audition process for acapella on campus can be a little overwhelming, just because you're introduced to all these groups and still trying to figure out which one will fit you best. Try to focus on preparing your audition pieces and going in confident. Everyone wants you to succeed!
Interested in contacting Camille with further questions about her experience? Feel free to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org!