Vibes release debut album

The GW Vibes, a 17-member co-ed a cappella group, will release its first CD May 3. Members said they hope the CD will help increase their fan base.

“This is a project we’ve been wanting to do for a while, and this is the last year for the founding fathers of the group,” said co-leader senior Naomi Hackenberg.

Entitled “Singing in the Stairwell,” the CD features 12 songs the group selected. Artists featured on the Vibes concert set include The Beatles, Green Day and Prince.

Group members said they enjoy performing songs from different musical genres.

“Sometimes we also do rap and jazz. We even once sang a Disney song,” senior Abby Markoe said.

There were 175 students in attendance at the group’s April 12 concert in the Marvin Center ballroom.

The group has also recently appeared at American and Georgetown universities.

“We hope to continue to grow to other communities and colleges outside GW. We’re continuing to build a following,” senior and co-leader Rich Howard said.

Bess Paupeck and Alissa Roeder, two transfer students who both previously belonged to a cappella groups, started the Vibes in the fall of 1999.

“We started small, then got big, then got small, then got big again,” senior Eun Hee Han said.

Group auditions were held at the beginning of September. Although 64 students auditioned, the group only accepted two new members.

“It’s a difficult process to choose who to take. It’s based on what we need as a group as much as the singers themselves,” senior Ben Rubinger said.

The group said it markets itself as much as possible to freshmen during Colonial Inauguration.

“I met the group at CI. It seemed like the most relaxed a cappella group on campus and not as structured as some of the other groups,” freshman Erica Taylor said.

While the Vibes joins other on-campus a cappella groups, including Emocappella, the Troubadours and the Pitches, members said they are different from those groups because they include more amateur singers. The group also said not one of its members is a music major.

“What separates us is that the number of musically trained (singers) is less than non-trained (singers), but we all get a chance to sing,” Hackenberg said.

Group members said they hope to see more a cappella groups form on campus.

“GW doesn’t have an a cappella community yet like most schools have. Tufts has eight different groups,” senior Noel Griswald said.

Vibes members said they are pleased with the current organization of the group.

“I got a lot of friends from the group. We’re like a family,” senior Kate Wolfson said.

The group typically rehearses twice a week for two hours, leaving larger sessions for before concerts.

The Vibes recorded their CD from January to March at Omega Studios in Rockville, Md. Production cost $3,500, and was funded by concert revenues and a $700 Student Association co-sponsorship. The CD will be on sale to students for $10 at a release party May 3 in the Hippodrome.

“A cappella rocks because it gives us the opportunity to be vocal percussionists. It’s like singing with the radio, but without one,” Rubinger said.

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