Collegiate A Cappella, and why I love it.

After a fun five month break from sharing deep emotional thoughts with the world via a website, I’m back and ready to ramble!

In high school I was a BIG time choir kid. I mean, I was Choir Council president for two years, c’mon. Big deal over here. I thought a cappella was laughable at best. Like I truly did not take it seriously at all.

So, it’s kind of crazy that last night I stood on a stage in tears yelling TAR HEEL over and over and over again after my best friends and I advanced to the next round of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella.

Now this may all sound very silly to you. I mean extremely silly. Because it’s collegiate a cappella, my gosh Lizzy please don’t take yourself so seriously. But I’m actually kind of tired of hearing that narrative. We love college sports, I mean we eat them up. Tar Heel pride is fairly rooted in the Carolina Basketball fan base. But ironically UNC A Cappella did better last night than our Basketball team has done all season…but that’s a different story that I truly don’t care enough about to address.

Tar Heel Voices is a group of 17 crazy college kids with a variety of majors and interests who come together for the main purpose of making beautiful art – and we do it for an absurd amount of time every week. And the love we have for each other is unreal. We have a big ole’ group chat that we text in far too much at all hours of the day. I don’t think I’ve gone a day since joining the group that I don’t see at least one of those losers. And there are times where we fight and argue and cry and disagree, but I don’t think we’ve ever doubted each other – questioned each other? Sure. But doubted? Hardly.

Last night we decided our word to focus on would be trustBut it wasn’t just the word for the night, it’s become a culture for us. This group wouldn’t be what it is without the incredible bonds we’ve built that allow us to trust each other with our whole hearts. This group wouldn’t be what it is without the incredible vulnerability we show and the love we share. That is the kind of community that the arts build. Talk to any high school theatre kid, ask any child who has ever grown up in band or choir or art classes. There is a raw beauty found in the arts, and it never leaves you.

I could go on and on and on about this dang group. I could tell you that UNC felt lonely and cold without them. I could tell you that I wouldn’t be half the person I am today without them. I could tell you that my life would be rocky and unfulfilling without their talent, and passion, and empathy. I could say a lot of things, but all those feelings are better kept in this sweet little pearl we’ve created – pushing ourselves past the point of exhaustion, to rebuild ourselves into something greater than before.

I’m incredibly thankful that I went to a high school that took the arts so seriously, but there are a lot of schools with underfunded arts programs. If I’d never joined choir in fifth grade I wouldn’t have fallen in love with singing and music, but more importantly I would never have met my best friends in college. And I think we should all start taking college a cappella a little more seriously ((but not too seriously because, as my good friend Faith Jones always reminds me, the stakes are so low)).

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