Sophomores join a cappella groups on campus, make up for lost time


Madison Smith/Daily Senior Staffer

THUNK a cappella performs at Rock the Lake.

Joanna Hou, Reporter

After last year’s remote audition and recruitment process, some sophomores are joining campus a cappella groups for the first time this year. 

McCormick sophomore Daehan Jung, decided not to audition last year due to the pandemic. Jung participated in a cappella in high school, but said he didn’t feel like the Zoom experience would be the same. 

Jung watched his friends in a cappella groups rehearse last year and said the practices seemed underwhelming, especially because members couldn’t sing together over Zoom without causing massive delays. 

“Everyone would just practice on their own muted, but the downside to this is you don’t know what others sound like,” Jung said. “Blending your voices together is a big part of acapella, if not the biggest, so that’s why it’s way less than ideal.”

However, seeing groups performing on campus at this year’s “Rock the Lake” rekindled Jung’s love for a cappella. He said he was excited by the possibility of live performances and in-person rehearsals. 

Now a member of THUNK a cappella, Jung said he finds rehearsals refreshing after his science-oriented days. THUNK is NU’s oldest a cappella group and is co-ed, performing around campus, Chicago and Cape Town, South Africa.

“I’m a STEM major and I’m around a lot of STEM students, but a cappella provides an outlet with people that aren’t in STEM,” Jung said. “It’s nice to have a balance between the STEM side of my school and the theatre, performing arts side.” 

McCormick sophomore Sarah Yung said she also joined a group because she wanted to diversify her STEM-filled days. She auditioned for a cappella groups both years but did not make any her first time around. This year, Yung said the in-person audition experience felt much more comfortable, and she landed a spot on the Treblemakers. 

Yung said a cappella has provided her with a sense of community and support. Even though rehearsals run late into the night, she said singing with fellow members allows her to de-stress from the rest of her day. 

“We start off rehearsals by checking in with each other; if we’re doing good, we celebrate with each other or hype each other up after a bad day,” Yung said. “Music has always been a really good way for me to relax and put myself in a happy space.” 

Weinberg sophomore Rakin Hussain echoed her sentiments. He joined Brown Sugar this year and said he has already found a home away from home. The instant mutual trust between him and the other members made him feel the safest he’s ever felt on campus, he said. 

When a soloist for Brown Sugar got sick the day before the group’s performance at Acapalooza, Hussain said he wanted to help out in any way possible. He stepped up to the soloist role and performed in front of the large crowd. 

“I wasn’t really a soloist before, and (when I performed), I wasn’t thinking about the crowd,” Hussain said. “The whole time, I was thinking about how much I liked performing with the ensemble and about how good we sounded, and I just got caught up in the thrill of the moment.”


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Twitter: @joannah_11

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