It’s very exciting when our Embassy team grows. More volunteers means more can be done to enhance the already booming community in the MD/DC/VA area. We are able to reach more groups, attend more different events, and touch lives with a cappella music that may never have heard of the genre before. This week, we are very happy to introduce Emilie Begin, our new Collegiate Diplomat for the state of Virginia. She will be the liaison between us and great groups coming out of places like Virigina Tech, UVA, and University of Richmond. Emilie brings a passion and excitement to The Embassy that is contagious. Up until now, the Embassy has had a strong grasp on a cappella in the DC area. We hope that with this small first step, we will be able to increase our presence in the great state of Virginia. Here’s some more about Emilie! ~Jeeves
When did you first become involved in a cappella? In what capacity?
I was in a all-female chamber choir in high school called the O’Connell Singers that sang primarily a cappella. In college, I was a member of a co-ed, primarily a cappella chamber choir, Una Voce, before I switched to contemporary a cappella. My first contemporary group was the University of Mary Washington’s BellACappella, and a semester later, I co-founded a co-ed group called the One Note Stand (that clever name was all my doing).
When did you first become involved with the A Cappella Embassy?
Through DC group networking, I met Jeeves when my group, Capital Blend, was applying for CAL membership. I started suggesting a bunch of ideas for a cappella-related events, and he showed me the site and explained the concept of the A Cappella Embassy, and before I knew it, I had signed up to become a Diplomat, haha.
What area do you cover as a Diplomat?
I cover Virginia Collegiate a cappella. I’m a Virginia native, and I sang a cappella at a Virginia state school, so naturally it felt like a good fit.
What role do you play as a Diplomat and/or what role would you like to play?
I’d like to give all the groups in Virginia a voice (pun intended, haha). This state has some of the best and oldest college groups in the country, and sometimes, as a newer group from a smaller school, it can be hard to figure out what the next steps are in becoming more known. I hope that I can help those groups out by giving them a more local platform to network with other groups, and gain more name recognition.
What do you do for work and play?
Like most DC-area residents, I work in government consulting, and my specialty is in Change Management and Communication, particularly for IT-related projects. Sounds very grown up, right? For play, I obviously sing, a lot, and I also enjoy going to concerts, collecting vinyl, weeping over DC sports (particularly the Caps), and trying the latest cheap Trader Joe’s wine.
Tell us one thing about yourself people would be surprised to learn
Netflix has enabled me to have a crippling addiction to watching old TV shows by the season. I pick a TV show, and then I tell my friends I’m “busy” for the weekend, except busy really means on my couch, watching several episodes at a time of some terrible show like “Ally McBeal” or “Felicity” while eating pita chips and hummus and wearing an old pair of high school sweatpants.
Wait, you mean something people would be surprised to learn? Uhhhhhhh…..
Favorite a cappella group?
I really like the Tufts Beelzebubs, aka the Warblers if you watch “Glee”.
Favorite types of music?
Whatever I have currently playing on Spotify. Okay, Kenny Loggins isn’t my favorite singer, I just really wanted to listen to “Danger Zone”. I really love Folk/Americana/Bluegrass/Alt-Country music, especially when I’m driving. I have pretty eclectic tastes, like lately I’ve been listening to a lot of girl or girl-fronted rock bands, like Best Coast, the Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls, etc. I also really love classic rock; I interned for a classic rock station in college, and as a result, I love Steely Dan, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, and most stuff that was recorded before 1985.
Favorite a cappella concert?
Probably my first a cappella concert, which was for one of the groups at my college Freshman year. Apart from the shower and the car, I sang strictly classical music until college, and while the concert wasn’t incredible or anything like that, I knew coming out of it that I wanted to be a member of an a cappella group. I immediately made the decision to sign up the next time the group had auditions.
Anything you’d people to know about your area?
We’re awesome. Well, I graduated in 2010, but the groups in VA are still awesome.