Student led concert shines a spotlight on talented vocalists through a cappella

Rachel+Nelson%2C+a+music+major%2C+sings+a+high+note+during+the+Sound+Check+event+at+Moorpark+College+on+Oct.++18.+Nelson+sang+lead+for+multiple+songs+and+arranged+the+adaptation+of+%22Lay+Me+Down%22.+Photo+credit%3A+Ryan+Bough
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Student led concert shines a spotlight on talented vocalists through a cappella

Rachel Nelson, a music major, sings a high note during the Sound Check event at Moorpark College on Oct.  18. Nelson sang lead for multiple songs and arranged the adaptation of

Rachel Nelson, a music major, sings a high note during the Sound Check event at Moorpark College on Oct. 18. Nelson sang lead for multiple songs and arranged the adaptation of "Lay Me Down". Photo credit: Ryan Bough

Rachel Nelson, a music major, sings a high note during the Sound Check event at Moorpark College on Oct. 18. Nelson sang lead for multiple songs and arranged the adaptation of "Lay Me Down". Photo credit: Ryan Bough

Rachel Nelson, a music major, sings a high note during the Sound Check event at Moorpark College on Oct. 18. Nelson sang lead for multiple songs and arranged the adaptation of "Lay Me Down". Photo credit: Ryan Bough

By Alexandria Alejo

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On Oct. 18, the Moorpark College Choral and Vocal Program held Sound Check, an event showcasing Moorpark College’s Contemporary Vocal Ensemble. The sold-out event was held in the Studio Theater of the Performing Arts Center.

The Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, also known as Dynamix, comprised of 19 members and performed a three-set show. Dynamix was introduced following an opening song, “Sing, Sing, Sing” by Louis Prima, accompanied by a jazz combo. Each set included three songs from different artists, ranging from Van Morrisson to Billie Eilish. The third set is expected to be used in future competitions.

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Kianna Ruesga sings with Mason Ford during part one of the Sound Check event at Moorpark College on Oct. 18. Photo credit: Ryan Bough

Brandon Elliott, director of choral and vocal activities at Moorpark College emphasized the student involvement in putting Sound Check together, stating, “That’s what’s exciting about this concert… It’s student-led.”

Moorpark College junior Grace Teh, arranged six of the ten songs performed at Sound Check. Teh was a founding member of Moorpark College’s a cappella club turned Dynamix, and is currently the Choral Ensemble’s assistant for the Moorpark College Choral and Vocal program.

“It’s something I’ve been passionate about for a really long time and I thought the idea of arranging was really cool and getting to hear people sing what you create is really cool,” expressed Teh.

Sound Check was Dynamix’s debut performance of the year. The performance was intended as preparation for the various competitions the group will be entering during the upcoming spring semester.

Capri Corwin, a freshman music major at Moorpark and soprano said, “I think it was a really good performance just to start off the year, to get everyone to know who we are.”

The group is composed of mostly new members with only seven returning members.

Rachel Nelson, a music major at Moorpark and a third year student, is one of the seven returning members. Nelson, a soprano, arranged the a cappella adaptation of “Lay Me Down” by Sam Smith, and sang lead for multiple songs.

According to Nelson, the preparation for Sound Check was extensive and arduous. “There were moments where we were getting music and then the next rehearsal we were expected to have it fully prepared,” said Nelson. “It’s just hours of kind of sitting down and really trying to focus on getting my music out.”

The group has big plans for this upcoming year in regards to competing. Dynamix will be competing for the first time in the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival and will be returning for a third time to the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella.

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Mason Ford addresses the crowd during a break after part two of the Sound Check event at Moorpark College on Oct. 18. Photo credit: Ryan Bough

“I know that the small amount of success that we took today is only going to grow as we take it to the competitions,” added Nelson. “I think this is going to be our strongest competition year yet.”

The concert was a huge success for the ensemble. “Overall, to have a sold-out show for the first time ever offering a concert like this, it’s pretty awesome,” commented Elliott. “I think I, along with all the students, are really thrilled tonight.”

Dynamix will be competing in the Los Angeles A Capella Festival and the International Championship of Collegiate A Capella during this upcoming spring semester.

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