Baylor ‘VirtuOSO’ A Cappella Choir hits its pitch

By Haley Davis

Aca-believe it: Baylor has its own A Capella group reminiscent of the movie “Pitch Perfect.”

“If someone else isn’t comparing us to ‘Pitch Perfect’, we’re quoting it and acting it out ourselves,” Marshall junior Ross Tarpley said.

Last year, the group even preformed the “Cups” song from the movie. However, this group is more than the movie it idols.

“We’re a tight knit group of college-age, pre-professional musicians whose goal is to bring the best possible contemporary A Capella to Baylor University,” Campbellsburg, Ky., sophomore Austin Montgomery said.

The group of 13 co-eds, founded by Dr. Aaron Hufty with a vision to create a group of pop a cappella singers, just celebrated its one-year anniversary in late August.
The group is working together to create the right sound for who they want to be and their unique style.

“These are very driven young adults who have a clear vision of their goals, future and their place in this world,” director Dinah Menger said. “I am beyond impressed with them as humans. Their music personifies their hearts.”

Their fall concerts are Nov. 15 and 16 in Bennett Auditorium, where they will perform their own versions of popular songs.

“One goal I have is to perform a piece that someone hears on the radio or something later and says, ‘That VirtuOSO group sang this. They sounded better.’” Tarpley said. “I also enjoy throwback songs that make people yell, ‘Oh my gosh, I love this song.’”

Three composition majors arrange all the songs performed by the group, then songs are taken to the singers, who add input that generates a creative atmosphere.

Menger’s motto that she tells the group is, VirtuOSO needs to mean everything to everyone.”

VirtuOSO works hard to entertain people, but the group also has fun and creates a community.

“Singing inherently brings people together, and singing with these amazing people has been a great experience,” Montgomery said.

Although the a cappella group is still new to campus, they are working to leave their mark. The choir wants to keep building a base of people, Montgomery said.

“Everyone is on board with the idea that to be worth being heard we have to be great,” Fort Worth junior Amy Farnell said. “And if you aren’t on board, then you’re out. Each member is paid, so we are treated as professionals and are expected to treat it as a gig.”