A&E Music

Get Vocal: Join Tampa Tones

By Gabriela Mendez

On Sunday, Sept. 12, the University of Tampa’s first competitive a cappella group called Tampa Tones held its auditions for the 2021- 2022 academic year. 

The Tampa Tones rehearse weekly in preparation for the nationwide competition called the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA). 

The yearly event has up to 450 groups performing and the Tampa Tones won the 2020 ICCA South Quarterfinals. It is an event that the group largely anticipates and trains for all semester. 

“It’s just a really fun way to work towards putting ourselves out there for every other group to see and it’s just a rewarding experience,” said Faith Kopecky, music director for Tampa Tones, “It’s the pinnacle of our year because we work towards getting the choreography down and all the music together and we have such a fun time in rehearsal or we get serious in the coming days.”

The group performs unique pieces of written song edited by the members of the group. 

“We usually arrange within our groups so it’s not technically our own song written work but we do write our versions of the songs to make them acapella,” said Kopecky.

The auditions were being held in the Ferman Music Center room 433 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and callbacks were the same day from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

There are no major requirements and  UT students can apply to audition but must prepare a 32 bar cut of a pop song that best shows their range. 

“​​A 32-bar cut allows the person auditioning to show their range and vocal abilities while also allowing us to audition as many people as possible in one night,” said Marissa Feminella, current president of Tampa Tones. “We specify singing a pop song since that is typically the style we sing.”

The group had 12 members last semester and is planning on accepting up to 10 new members for Fall 2021.

“Speaking from personal experience, joining and being a part of this group has helped me in many ways,” said Feminella. “Learning harmonies and following rhythms during rehearsals trains your ears and improves your overall musicality… otherwise, a huge plus to being a part of Tampa Tones is the family that comes with it, we are all each other’s biggest fans and support systems.” 

With COVID-19 there are some regulations that the group will be taking to ensure the safety of others. 

“We follow CDC guidelines and last year we took temperature before each rehearsal and we sanitized everything and socially distanced as well as making sure every individual felt safe and comfortable, also keeping the mask on,” said Kopecky. “We do push for people to be safe outside of school because we have some people who are immunocompromised so we don’t want them to not feel safe at Tampa Tones.”

The group expects to start working on their own music and choreography soon for the ICCA’s and their next performances. 

Photo credit courtesy of @Tampatones on Instagram.

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