On Oct. 26, Absolut A Cappella performed a medley of songs to ring in the spooky season in the Student Union Building’s Multipurpose room. The event, entitled “Pitches and Potions,” featured both Absolut and fellow student a cappella group, The Sexy Pitches, performing back-to-back.
Fourth-year student and Vice President of Absolut, Patrick Kerley, saw being a part of an a cappella group as a make-or-break for his choice of school. “I ended up transferring here my sophomore year and I’ve always been in love with a cappella, been doing it forever. Anytime when I was looking at schools, I was always looking for it,” said Kerley. “When I was transferring, that was something I was looking for as well, so when I came here, I saw that there was Absolut, and I auditioned.” Kerley has been in the group since 2020 and has since been promoted to Vice President of the team.
As the a cappella season officially commenced, Absolut recruited multiple new members that offer diverse musical values that will help level out the group. “We had about 60 people come out to audition for the group and it was really a difficult decision because we narrowed it down to who’s going to get a call back,” said Kerly. “We did accept six people into our group out of 60.”
The addition of new members to the group seems to be transitioning smoothly. “They’re all great,” said Kerly. “We’ve gotten the opportunity to really get to know them in and outside of rehearsal and we’re really excited to be working with them now.” This was apparent in their performance, as their voices blend melodically and the closeness of the group shows through their talent. “At the end of the day it is a performance, but for us, it’s like we’re sharing the moment together and I think that can be portrayed to our audiences,” says Kerley.
Their bond doesn’t go unnoticed to those in the audience. “There’s a comfortability with the group, and I think that makes us perform really well, because we’re all really close and connected,” Kerly said. For Absolut, the family-like bond plays a crucial role in the way their group operates. “I think what makes us stand out is that we all have different stories in terms of our lives. When we all come together, we can all relate to each other.”
Absolut has a lot in store regarding future performances and invitationals. “One thing that we’re really excited about, it goes into next semester, but we perform at ICCA’s, which is the international competition in collegiate a cappella,” says Kerley. “In terms of this semester, we do have a couple invitationals that we were invited to. One of them, off the top of my head, is the Hofstra Dutchman.”
Team bonding is a crucial aspect in making sure that everyone is comfortable performing with one another and that their voices flow seamlessly together. “What I really love about these things where we get to travel is that there’s a really big bonding aspect to it,” Kerly said. “When we would go in the past, it was like I just felt really close, and I really got to know members, so it’s honestly a really fun thing we do.”
Although the ICCA’s are a little while away, the team continues to work tirelessly to reach the finals and score highly.
If you don’t want to travel to watch one of New Paltz’s beloved a cappella groups, there will be multiple events on campus in which community members may attend. “We do collaborations with different organizations on campus in the works right now,” Kerly said. “We’re looking at doing some dorm performances, and then possibly performing at the dining hall. But yeah, at the moment, we’re kind of looking at what our options are.”
The excitement of a cappella is in the air and it is only just beginning. For more information about upcoming events and performances, you can follow the official Absolut A Cappella Instagram, @absolutacappella.