By Megan Blauvelt
The newest addition to Rider University’s list of a capella groups, ’Til Further Notes, rose to prominence this year quietly. This group, composed of Rider students of all ages, has already brought fresh talent to — and made its mark within — the competition scene with no plans of slowing down anytime soon.
’Til Further Notes began strong in their competition repertoire, especially for a newly formed group. After submitting an audition tape to judges of the International Championship Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) competition, nine groups were invited to the quarter-finals, and ’Til Further Notes was among the lucky few.
Each and every practice session paid off for the group. With a 73-point lead, ’Til Further Notes was nominated for first place in the ICCA competition, securing its spot in the Mid-Atlantic semi-finals.
’Til Further Notes performed last Wednesday at Rutgers University for the semi-finals in their usual dress of dark pink and black, which made them stand out from the other groups of contestants. With only twelve minutes of stage time, the ensemble sang four arrangements.
“We sing a lot of different genres of music, ranging from jazz to classic rock to pop-rock,” junior and group co-founder Elena Camp said.
On Wednesday night, the high-spirited singers covered Kansas’s “Carry on My Wayward Son,” Jon McLaughlin’s “So Close,” and concluded with David Guetta’s “Without You.” Group member and sophomore Jason Nop won the Outstanding Arrangement award for “So Close.”
The group attributes its initial success to hard work and practice. Rehearsals never begin on a serious note for ’Til Further Notes; rather, the members of this close-knit group ease into each afternoon practice with laughs. Juniors Elena Camp and Rajeer Alford sprouted from the popular competitive vocal ensemble Vocalmotion. The two brought together a total of 14 singers after hearing dozens of auditions for a spot in the new group.
“There are singers who attend Rider that aren’t voice majors but want to sing,” Camp said.
Group member junior Tina Cartaino holds true to this statement with a major in elementary education.
Though ’Til Further Notes did not continue on to the competition finals, the members hope to remain active by planning for future performances, and will continue to incorporate fun into all that they do.