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Baldwin Wallace University's BW Sōl To Host "Aca Live" On February 21st

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Tomorrow night, we are pleased to be featuring some of Baldwin Wallace University's finest on our channel as BW Sōl takes over our Facebook page for "Aca Live." 

The young group is the university's premiere co-ed a cappella ensemble and has not lost any momentum since their inception back in 2013. Having competed in multiple ICCA events as well as performed for local audiences around the hometown of Berea, the group is sure to bring a lot of personality, energy and excitement to tomorrow night's live stream.

See them perform on our Facebook page tomorrow at 9 PM/ET. In the meantime, check out our interview with the group below.

1. Can you tell me about the group's founding? When did the group begin? Any specific influences, past or present that you all can point to that inspire(d) your style?

Sōl A Cappella was founded at Baldwin Wallace by Paige Zilba in 2013 as a passion project.
As a freshman music therapy major and profound beatboxer, Paige was looking for an opportunity to share her love for a cappella as well as her passion for beatboxing with similar interested peers. Sōl enjoys performing a wide variety of popular music of many different genres.

2. What makes BW Sōl so special? What makes members join the group versus looking into other student organizations?

Sōl prides itself on having members of music and non-music majors. The group is also co-educational and extra-curricular. The group arranges and composes their repertoire specifically based off the group’s vocal strengths and abilities.

Sōl strives to create an environment for anyone looking to be accepted whether it’s through one of our members or one of our performances. We all have felt lost in the world at various times in our life, but we found, the people and the music are what makes us feel at home.

3. What are some of you all's favorite performances/moments from the past year or few years?

Last year, Sōl competed in their 4th International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella contest and enjoyed the experience. The group spent the fall semester preparing, rehearsing, and performing on campus in preparation for the event.

In addition, Sōl also participated in the 1st Annual A Cappella Festival hosted by the Baldwin Wallace American Choral Director’s Association this past fall. The concert featured brother and sister campus groups as well as high school and barbershop groups. All proceeds benefited the BW ACDA Chapter’s mission of inspiring excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

4. What are some things that you all enjoy doing outside of music as a group?

Sōl loves participating in special bonding days each semester. Past events also include a fun lock-in where members got to know one another through good food, stories, and icebreaker activities. Sōl is looking forward to their next bowling bonding day this spring! Aside from bonding activities, members enjoy frequently grabbing dinner after Sunday rehearsals and shopping for group necessities such as apparel.

5. Is there a funny memory or awkward moment from a past trip or performance that stands out in your mind?

There are too many to count. Ask us during our live stream!

6. As a group who regularly competes in ICCA, what is the preparation process like? Do you arrange songs in a different manner from your normal repertoire? Do you schedule extra rehearsals?

The first main step in preparing is deciding on repertoire that reflects our group’s interests and abilities and assigning members to arrange them. Arrangers typically have free reign with arranging, with the only requirement being that pieces reflect the abilities of group members. Once we are set with the arrangements, we typically have a few sectional days and group rehearsals to learn the music. Arrangers provide audio recordings for all vocal parts so that members can listen and rehearse their parts when away from rehearsal.

Typically, we learn and perform many songs so that we can then pick our top 3 come audition time. A few months leading up to competition, we begin adding choreography to our music. The week before competition, we host an open-rehearsal where friends, colleagues, and professors watch our ICCA set and provide us with performance feedback utilizing a google form.

7. Are there any big plans for the future? What do you all hope to accomplish within the next year?

In the year ahead, Sōl plans to schedule a tour throughout the Ohio and Pittsburgh area. In addition, the group is hoping to also record their ICCA set and workshop with local high school a cappella groups. Each year we grow more and more and with new leadership next year, Sōl aims to bring music to more people in this world.

8. What is one thing most people probably don't know about BW Sōl?

We have a little line above the “o” in Sōl

9. What has been the most rewarding part about being in a college a cappella group? Likewise, what has been the most challenging aspect?

The most rewarding part has definitely been getting to spend two days a week with our close friends while getting to know one another through music making. The most challenging aspect has been balancing schedules and personalities.

10. What are the Top 3 TV shows the group is currently watching/streaming?

Riverdale, Food network (all!!), The Office

11. Anything else you'd like for our audience to know about the group?

Our founder Paige has become sort of famous with many viral videos on social media, as well as providing the percussion for the Pitch Perfect 3 commercials.

12. Lastly, could you give us some background info on the below picture from your Instagram?

This was 2017’s ICCA photo right before we performed.

For more information on BW Sōl, connect with them on their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.