For the very first edition of our new Group Spotlight feature, we’ve chosen a bunch of fun-loving, DC newcomers…
10 singers are called to the stage. You can feel their excitement as the crowd’s applause subsides. After months of planning meetings, auditions, and rehearsals, it all comes down to this. Someone plays the pitch and counts off… One… Two… Three. Go! To their relief, the downbeat is a beautiful chord, and the soloist enters just in time with the first line of Switchfoot’s “Dare You To Move”. It’s exactly as they imagined it would sound in their heads. 15 minutes later, it’s all over, and as they exit the stage, everything is a blur. But the singers and the audience can be certain about one thing for sure: DC’s newest a cappella group, Word of Mouth, has arrived…
It’s a rare treat to witness the debut concert for a new group, and Word of Mouth delivered a stellar one on Friday evening, March 2nd, on the campus of George Washington University, as part of an all a cappella chartiy show. The 10-person vocal group soared through a four song set consisting of “Dare You To Move”, “Faith” by George Michael, “Paradise” by Coldplay, and a Michael Jackson medley arranged by Sam Tsui. They had grace, dynamics, and confidence. It’s all in a day’s work, considering the experience of its leaders and members.
One of the co-founders of the group, Michael Braun, is an alumnus of University of Maryland’s premiere Jewish a cappella group, Kol Sasson. He met Music Director, Rachel Rood, at an a cappella afterparty in September, and they immediately connected, lamenting over missing the college a cappella experience. Rood is also a seasoned aca-vet: at Rochester Institute of Technology, she was a member of the all-female group, Encore, as well as being a member and Music Director of RIT’s Proof of Purchase. Together, the two set out on a mission: to create a brand-new group for recent graduates and young professionals who also wanted to rekindle some of that college a cappella magic.
After recruiting a few of their close friends, the still nameless new group spent its first few months of existence like most: searching high and low for members, deciding what songs to arrange, and of course, settling on a name. Early contenders were classically a cappella puns, like The MetroNomes (unfortunately already taken), and The RedLiners (a name reminiscent of groups in DC and Boston). But, as Rood tells us, Word of Mouth stuck because it best reflected their uphill battle in getting “the word” out to potential auditionees. After much advertisement, interested singers began to pour in from Facebook and Craigslist ads, and soon enough, Word of Mouth were holding auditions, up until only 2 months ago! “We were blown away at just how much talent there was, so it was a tough decision,” says Rood.
Finally, with a solid crop of singers, Word of Mouth spent the beginning of 2012 rehearsing up a storm. In very short time, it’s obvious they are already finding their groove and are poised to make a definite impact in the DC a cappella community.
Be sure to connect with Word of Mouth (below) , and help us wish them a warm welcome to the A Cappella Embassy!
Word of Mouth’s 2nd ever performance will take place this Tuesday (3/13) at 6:30pm with special guest, and fellow DC newcomer, The Noctonals! Location TBA on their Facebook page, so stay tuned.