“A cappella” has a new meaning


Story by Karl Enghofer, Freelancer

Senior Holly Bergman defines the word “audacious” as “strong, bold and courageous” which she said perfectly describes the ideology of the UW-Eau Claire all-female a cappella group, Audacious.

“One of the biggest things we try to evoke is confidence in women through the empowerment of music,” Bergman said.

Audacious strives to be role models for young women, not just those in music, but in everyday life. The women of Audacious think songs on the radio and in 21st century media in general can be dehumanizing to women. Audacious preserves the respect of women by substituting out harmful lyrics in the songs they cover and arrange themselves, they said.

The group was established around eight years ago and is now comprised of 10 female students who juggle full-time class loads, part-time jobs, other extra-curricular activities, and still leave time to rehearse twice a week, they said.

“After everyone’s done with their long day, we’ll meet at 10 o’clock at night and punch out what we can for an hour,” Bergman said.

They say it’s a big sacrifice, but what they get for themselves in return is well worth it.

Audacious sings a variety of genres ranging from the pop hits of Justin Bieber to the classic rock songs of Queen to country. They sing music they love, which makes it even more enjoyable to them. Unique to Audacious is the performing of vocal percussion, more commonly known as beat boxing.

The girls started out in small venues, but over the years, word has gotten out about Audacious.

“Our first concerts were held in The Cabin and were free, and later it got to the point where it was over flowing,” said senior  Emily Wermund.

The group now performs in Schofield Auditorium for audiences of more than 200 people and charges admission to cover their funds. They also had the opportunity to sing the National Anthem at the Joe Biden speech in Zorn Arena earlier this semester.

“To see where we were then and where we are now is such a huge thing, “ said Brianna Noeldner, a sophomore.

Although Audacious doesn’t have the fan base that The Innocent Men (the all-male a cappella group on campus) does, the young group is confident that they will continue to grow in popularity. The “I-Men” have been around for 35 years, making them an admired Eau
Claire attraction.

There is another all-female a cappella group on campus called Girls Night Out, but Eau Claire is big enough for the both of them.

The girls explained there is no competition between any of the a cappella groups at Eau Claire.

“We have an awesome relationship with them,”  Bergman said.

The women in Audacious feel honored to perform at specialized events such as The Vagina Monologues, Women Rock and Take Back The Night because the themes are geared towards the strength and individualism of womanhood. They enjoy sharing and giving back to
their audiences.

“We hear these big stories in peoples lives about how they’ve gone through all these heartbreaking events and we are able to show support for them and sing for them,” Bergman said. “If our group just sang for even these special gigs alone, we would be so happy.”

Audacious is having their fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 in Schofield Auditorium. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at the service center desk for $5 each. Expect to see “The girls in kelly-green” performing their own solos, as well as a few collaboration songs with other Eau Claire a cappella groups.

Audacious is also looking for one new member to join their welcoming group. Auditions will be held at the end of this semester, or the
beginning of the spring 2013 semester. Women interested do not have to be involved with choir, just someone who likes to have fun and is confident in their singing.

Being comfortable with everybody in the group is what makes Audacious such a fun group of gals, said Alexis Abrahamsen, a senior. This way, they can goof around with each other on stage and put on an enjoyable show to watch.

“I wouldn’t say we’re just an a cappella group,” said Abrahamsen. “We’re a group of friends, and that’s what is so great about it.”