Northwestern students find their strengths in Not Our Forte

Paige Leskin, Reporter

Most student groups start with passionate students attempting to pursue their talents. Four students used their rejection as a motive to create Not Our Forte, Northwestern’s new campus a cappella group.

“It’s us making fun of ourselves,” said Weinberg sophomore Thomas Pollick, one of the group’s founders. “We all love to sing. We just weren’t accepted to other groups.”

Pollick, a former Daily columnist, and three friends formed Not Our Forte at the beginning of Winter Quarter after being rejected from different campus a cappella groups. Pollick said they knew they were talented, but they lacked the training and experience of music and theatre majors.

The group held auditions in the beginning of February, attracting more than 30 individuals. The founders selected 15 students to join the group. Communication sophomore Andrea Azem, one of the group’s members, said she liked the idea that everyone in Not Out Forte was starting from scratch together.

“People were in the same situation as me, so it was comforting,” she said. “We’re just starting out from the ground level, so we try to mold it together into whatever we want it to be.”

Weinberg sophomore Sydney Lindsey, one of the founders, said the team started bonding during its first practice and has already created “one big family.”

Lindsey said the group will primarily focus on indie-type music but will also perform pop songs to appeal to its audience. She said Not Our Forte chose “The Scientist” by Coldplay as its first number because it is a simpler song.

Lindsey said as a newly formed group, members are still in the process of learning how to work together. She said the organization has been connecting with ShireiNU, another relatively new a cappella group, for advice on how to expand. The group is starting to find its voice and style, she said.

“How we’re made up is unique,” she said. “We wanted an a cappella group to be a fun thing and to sing songs that we love, not stressful like when we’re in the library.”

The four executives said they try to lead Not Our Forte in a democratic way when picking songs and making decisions. They strive to let everyone contribute and have their voices heard, said Weinberg sophomore Laura Goldring, one of the founders.

Goldring said despite the group’s diversity in majors and backgrounds, the members all have a common love for music and share an excitement to start fresh. She said she is confident the organization will be successful in the future.

“In a couple years, we’ll be just as ingrained into Northwestern culture as all the other a cappella groups,” she said. “I’m optimistic for our future.”

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