The Rolling Tones: Making music and memories

Students in Rider’s a capella group, The Rolling Tones, pride themselves on their “family-like” bond.

By Megan Raab

Students have many opportunities to get involved with music and the arts at Rider. One of these outlets for students is a group that sings and creates sounds with their own voices in a musical technique called a capella. 

The Rolling Tones, formerly known as The Rider Vibes, is a premier a capella group at Rider with the goal to sing pop tunes while creating a fun, supportive environment.

Sophomore technical theater major Rebecca Ponticello is in her first semester with The Rolling Tones. She joined the group because she wanted to “meet new people and make some beautiful music.” A friend recommended the group to her because of the tight-knit atmosphere and the “family-like bonds” the group encouraged.

“The Rolling Tones are perfect for people who were very active in music in high school and want to continue to have it as a fun way to spend time while bringing together like-minded people who otherwise might have never met,” sophomore acting major Kerriann Ring said. 

Students regarded the group as a great outlet for music and theater students who are looking for ways to push themselves and expand their horizons. 

“I love singing pop music,”Ponticello said. “Our program is so theater-based that we rarely get to sing and perform these songs that everyone knows and loves.” 

With the popularity of the “Pitch Perfect” movie franchise, a capella has risen in popularity over that last few years. Groups of talented musicians come together to perform inventive arrangements of pop music without using any instruments. It relies heavily on the musicianship of the members and their willingness to make interesting and out-of-the box sounds such as beatboxes and vocal instrumentals. 

Ponticello was pushed to step outside of her comfort zone when she joined the group. “I love getting to practice my range,” she said. “We’re a little short on boys, so I’m a tenor in the group and it’s so fun to use that part of my voice.” 

For Ring, The Rolling Tones have provided her with the opportunity to round out her college experience. She got involved with the group because she missed making music. Now, however, the music isn’t the only thing keeping her involved. 

“My favorite part of being in the group is the friends I’ve made so far,” Ring said. 

Ring has also taken on a leadership position within the group as the public relations chair.

The group performs a concert at the end of every semester and normally competes in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) against premier a capella groups from colleges in the region. The Rolling Tones did not compete this year. 

“This year we were really focusing on bettering the group both musically and socially,” Ring said. 

The singers will get a chance to showcase their growth, while sharing their rehearsal fun with the university on April 27 at their spring concert. 

Published in the 3/6/19 edition.

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