CMU’s Pitch Perfect: On The Rox A Cappella

Story and photos by Dannah Gunn

“Are you guys like Pitch Perfect?”

A question On The Rox A Cappella gets all the time. The public relations chair, senior Lauren Hendrick, describes On The Rox as CMU’s only all-female a cappella group that strives to inspire other women through music. They sing many types of genres using only their voice. OTR’s current president is senior Coryn Rose. 

President Coryn Rose
Rehearsing “The Fire” with junor Chloe Illaqua. OTR will be competing at the A Cappella-Off in Allendale, Michigan against other collegiate a cappella groups.

OTR has two concerts per year and also performs around the community throughout the year. The concerts are held in the University Center Auditorium.  This semester, they will be performing with Michigan State University’s all-male a cappella group, The Acafellas.

Senior Raylin Vance soprano/alto

“I would say it gives me a place to go to get away from school, you know, a stress reliever. I love everyone and I met my future roommate in this group. This is my first time being in a singing group. I had never been in a choir before,” said freshman Grace Weipert.

Keely Rowe, Grace Weipert and Jessica Draper

“OTR gives me a positive outlet for my emotions, and having a family atmosphere makes it easier to be a college student. I have that release and there’s no pressure when I’m here,” said freshman Eve Vicary.

Sectionals with Allison Taylor, Raylin Vance and Alissa Pellett

“Really, this is where I found one of my favorite families. Some of my best friends are in this group. I live pretty far from home, so this is my home away from home and I can talk about anything I want,” said junior Audrey Pyle.

Music director Jessica Draper

This group meets three times a week for two hours each day to rehearse their music and choreography. Rehearsals begin with a vocal warmup. Then, each section rehearses their part together followed by everyone reuniting to put each section together. This is when the magic happens. Hearing every part mesh together brings goosebumps to the members’ arms.  It takes lots of practice to perfect each song and the choreography that goes with it.   The music is directed and led by senior Jessica Draper, who also arranges many songs.

Rehearsing “Put Your Records On” with Audrey Pyle singing solo