Hey Alternotives fans, I’m Alice, co-prez of the 2015/16 Alts! Being president is surprisingly fun, especially as I get to share all the responsibilities with my lovely first soprano buddy Natalie. Working on challenges for initiations and trying to source dresses and outfits are just some of the fun tasks we’ve been dealing with the past few weeks.
However, AUDITIONS are really what we’ve been stressing out about during the first few weeks of term; we lost nine amazing members this year – luckily our fab beatboxer Tom is staying on (for any non-acapella-ers out there; beatboxers are the hardest people to source. And if you’re hoping to get into acapella, learn to beatbox and people will love you forever, I swear).
With a table at freshers fair, and Facebook events and statuses galore we certainly weren’t short of applicants; over a hundred people signed up for just eight spots. With every audition taking around ten minutes, you can imagine this was not a short process… In fact, it took Nat, James and I five days to see everyone (with some help from the old Alts of course). We saw lots of amazing solos, met some incredibly musical people, and even witnessed a bit of dancing! During this James somehow managed to run a half marathon in an almost professional time and Nat and I ordered a helluva lot of GBK to the audition room.
After the auditions, we had the difficult task of narrowing the singers down to around 30 for callbacks. This is the final step in the audition process – a group session in which – after some, hopefully relaxing, warm-ups – we set the singers one of our arrangements to learn and sing with a small set of people. I have never heard It’s Raining Men sung quite so many times. Once everyone had sung a solo piece, it was decision time for us!
It took us 2 hours to decide which auditionees were to become fully-fledged Alts. Everyone had been given a callback because they’re really good singers, so it’s insanely hard to decide on a final group. The girls were particularly strong this year and, to make it even more difficult, we had to work with the other Oxford a cappella groups to decide who got who.
BUT after all that, and sending out personal emails to every single auditionee, we got our final lovely eight:
Rosie Richards, Sara Lee, Miriam Adler, Camilla Dunhill, Shan Chang, Oscar Darwin, Teddy Chow and Hugh Cross.
Check out our facebook page to see more about them, and keep checking the Alts website for a blog by one of them very soon!