Pitch It Forward: Campus All-Female Acapella Group Back in Action

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The Sexy Pitches held auditions for new members this past week.

On Sept. 8 and 9, all-female campus acapella group The Sexy Pitches held auditions for their Fall 2021 semester lineup. 

The auditions for the club, which has been operating for over 5 years, welcomed both singers and beatboxers to try out. They were held in the Student Union Building, on the newly-renovated fourth floor.

Following an entire year of virtual recitals and rehearsals, the Pitches are preparing for a hopeful in-person season. Caitlyn Schmidt, the club’s president, has been working hard for the group’s success this fall. 

“​​I definitely want to ease into this whole process and make it as smooth as possible,” she said. “We all haven’t sang together in such a long time, so I want to make sure we are working on our team building skills this semester, while ensuring we have the best sound possible.”

The other members of the club’s E-board are Vice President Hailey Brown, Secretary Lauren Prendergast, Music Directors Claire Florence and Linsay Feldherr and Public Relations officer Heather Michaels. The club had two rounds of auditions, and had callbacks on Monday, Sept. 13. Auditioners were asked to prepare a verse and chorus of any song, excluding Broadway and Disney tracks. After their performances, the club’s music directors conducted tests to determine their singing range and pitch matching ability.  

This entire process was similar a year ago; the only stark difference was that it was all done on Zoom.  

“Last semester, (The) Pitches were completely virtual,” explained Schmidt. “It was a difficult decision to make, but it was for everyone’s safety. However, for auditions, potential members sent in videos to our email, and then we conducted callbacks for those who received them.”

Last year, the club welcomed six new members. They rehearsed through Zoom every Sunday, and Schmidt utilized breakout rooms to help build individual vocal parts.  

“Although everyone was muted when we were all together in the main room, hearing only the soloist sing still brought a sense that we were together,” she said.

Schmidt noted how important this sense of comradery has always been to the Pitches. Her main goal is to foster a fun environment for each of the members of the club.

“The foundation and effectiveness of our sound stems from rehearsals,” she said. “Making rehearsals a safe and fun atmosphere is always my top priority for the Pitches and I’m so grateful we can be together in person this semester!”

The club had no big in-person or virtual events last semester, but are very excited to bring those events back this fall. 

In-person rehearsals played a large part in Schmidt’s pre-COVID pitches experience. She recalls going to them every week and noted the energy in the air during these practices.

“Being able to spend time with a group of women that share the same passion for singing as you, just makes the room carry a sense of joy,” Schmidt said. “Going away to perform at Oneonta and Hofstra were also amazing experiences, as we got to hear the talent from the groups at those respective performances.”

Her performance at Oneonta included some of her all-time favorite moments as a member of the Pitches: the invitational. 

“For that performance, I was the soloist for ‘Rhiannon’ by Fleetwood Mac,” she explained. “I’ve loved that song for a long time, and was so happy that I got to sing it for that performance.  Seeing the talent at Oneonta was also awesome! Their group, Pitch Slapped, is an all-female group as well, so seeing another empowering group of women on the stage really brought everyone together.”

Since the semester just started, the Sexy Pitches have yet to share events happening in the next few months, but Schmidt encourages fans to follow their Instagram account, @thenewpaltzsexypitches, to stay up to date. She also suggests taking a trip to the club’s YouTube account to watch past performances. 

“I am working closely to begin planning some awesome events for the semester, and would love to see some new faces,” she said. “For next semester, if you didn’t get a chance to audition this time around, we hold auditions at the beginning of every semester, and are always looking for new Pitches!”

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About Alli Dempsey 30 Articles
Allison (Alli) Dempsey (she/her) is a third-year journalism major and communications minor from Staten Island, NY. This is her third semester on the Oracle, and second as Arts Editor. She is also a member of the WFNP Radio E-board staff, president of the New Paltz Music Collective and manages her own music blog, Twilight Collective. You can reach her by emailing dempseya1@newpaltz.edu.