Every term, the University of Waterloo A Capella Club (UWACC) puts on their End of Term Concerts, featuring all of UWACC’s main groups. UWACC is currently Canada’s largest university a capella organization, consisting of five main a capella groups, with more than 200 members participating every school year. Founded in 2010, the club continuously aspires to foster the growth and development of a capella at the university, and to support the success of all a capella groups.
This term, the End of Term Concerts were held on Mar. 22 and 23, in the theatre of Modern Languages. UWACC’s five main groups, the Acabellas, ACE, the Musical Interdudes, the Unacomepanied Minors, and the Waterboys, all showcased their sets, along with other minor groups. Nicholas Richardson, the chairperson of UWACC for Winter 2019, explained that “a capella at [the University of Waterloo] is such a unique and close musical community. Everyone, first years to graduated members included, is so passionate about music. We will often have people away on co-op or [whom] have graduated help out with [musical] arrangements and help our groups sound great.”
As the amphitheatre of Modern Languages seats approximately 400 people, putting on a concert of this size within a term is no simple feat. From administrative duties and musical arrangments, to recruitment and rehearsals, bringing the concert to life had its many challenges. When asked what challenges he had encountered in coordinating the concert, Richardson said, “Most of the work for this term’s concert was done by the EOT coordinators Patricia and Stephen so they deserve most of the credit. For the groups, we hosted the [International Championship of Collegiate A Capella] Quarterfinals, which meant the first half of the term was spent preparing for that show and we only had four weeks afterwards to focus on our End of Term Concert.” He is also currently a member of the groups In Full Color and the Unaccompanied Minors, meaning he had to balance a full course load and four rehearsals per week. But Richardson expressed his passion and pride in UWACC, saying, “I am so proud of the energy people put into the club term after term to create music. Our club has a long list of accomplishments from numerous awards at ICCAs to creating and hosting the first annual Canadian A Capella Conference.”
Elia Lam, a member of the audience as well as graduated a capella veteran, said, “Saturday’s concert was great. I enjoyed the energy of the performers and the performances, especially the [Musical Interdudes] were very funny. I thought the transition between groups could [have been] smoother.” She recounted her previous experience in UWACC, and how she has witnessed UWACC’s growth over the years. She said, “The club also seems to be more popular now and that’s reflected in the increased membership as well as viewership at all of our termly concerts. The quality of music has also sharply increased over the past few years and now [University of Waterloo] is also involved in the North American collegiate a capella scene. This allows them to compete with groups across Canada and parts of the U.S.”
When asked why he enjoyed being a part of UWACC, Nicholas Cui, the current president of the Waterboys said, “I really enjoy the people in a capella. Some of my closest friends were made through [a capella] and I’m very grateful.” Gabi Myers, who has been a member of UWACC since fall 2013, compared her relationship with members of UWACC to being like family. Myers is currently a member of the groups In Full Color and the AcaBellas. In Full Color will be going on to compete at the semi finals for Varsity Vocal’s International Championship of Collegiate A Capella 2019 as the university’s representatives at the University of Buffalo.
UWACC holds auditions at the start of every term, including the spring terms. For UWACC’s non-auditioned group, ACE, there are sign ups during the first few weeks of each term. Follow UWACC on Facebook for more details and updates.