French group begins rehearsal for BU Vision this spring

The French team won BU Vision for the first time in 2011. Photo courtesy of Marie Level.

By Vivian Roach | Staff Writer

BU Vision, an annual singing competition among the different groups in the Department of Modern Languages & Cultures, is returning to Baylor this spring for its 10th anniversary.

The French group is starting to rehearse for the competition in April. Song choice, musicians,and dance elements are all the first rule of business for the group of French majors, minors and acquaintances to the language.

Whether it be French, Italian, Korean, Chinese or other languages, all of the groups are allowed freedom in their song choice and the opportunity to incorporate dancing and musicians within their performance.

Senior lecturer of French Marie Level said that typically the languages taught on campus are well represented, and that seven or eight languages will compete. She said it’s not hard for students to join a group and that there are no tryouts and everybody is welcome.

Level said one aspect she looks forward to most each year is the fact that “it’s very student-led; they really get into it and get comfortable… to them they don’t think of it as a foreign language.”

The idea of country’s languages competing came from the “European American Idol,” Eurovision, an annual singing contest between mostly European countries.

Level said it is a big deal in Europe, and a professional jury votes, as well as the population of each country competing.

Nigeria senior Clementina Akpomedaye is minoring in French and said she has a strong background in the language. Even though the official language of her hometown is English, the surrounding countries were all French-speaking nations.

“I grew up listening to French because people around me were coming for business, so I grew up learning French,” Akpomedaye said.

This is her second time competing in the contest. The last time she participated, it fell during women empowerment month. The French group won with a song that expressed being a woman and more than a “paper doll.”

Akpomedaye choreographs the French performance, helps students memorize the song and learn how the tone changes throughout the song as well. This year the French song is electro, and she wants to make it more like a capella.

Students, staff and other guests can attend BU Vision to see the final product. The contest will be held at 5:30 p.m. April 23 in Draper Academic Building’s Bennett Auditorium.