Monday, February 4, 2008

ICCAs - Round 1

Our girls practically swept the competition, you'll all be proud to hear. Taking 1st place overall in addition to the awards listed below, VP not only sounded great but looked great as well. Looks like we've finally mastered the enigma of ICCA judging criteria!

Doot rocked out on "Wishing I Was There" and appropriately won a Solo award (in lieu of the similarly fabulous Bon-Bon, who is abroad in France... miss you!).

Nah continued on her fabulous soloing streak (pull that tie) with "The Walk."

And Martha wrapped things up with "Downfall," an unquestioningly strong finish to a fabulous set.

It's still being determined (due to some confusion over the judges' notes) which one of those last 2 one the other Solo Award, and which one won the Best Arrangement Award. What rocks is that both of them were definitely won, so ultimately it's still a sweep!

Also taking honors were Krouper's choreography -- no step-and-snap here :)

And taking the final honor was Miss Polly Flinch, winning the best percussion award and completing the clean sweep!

To wrap it all up at the final ceremony, VP rocked out on "Gone Daddy Gone," showcasing (senior!!) Dena and Miss Marla Gventher one more time.

Next up, they head to Rutgers to take on the next round of competition. Much love and luck to our fabulous group!! We know you'll do amazingly -- that's pretty black and white...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holy new set list, Batman!

To finish what has been a fabulous fall semester, the group had a cozy newbie retreat/song party and picked a great new repertoire for Spring ’08. Check it out:

Hotel Song (Regina Spektor)
Soloist: Jessica ‘10

Ordinary World (Duran Duran)
Arr: Kristy ‘08

The Way I Am (Ingrid Michaelson)
Soloist: Dena ‘08

Shut Up and Drive (Rihanna)
Arr: Kristy ‘08

Love Song (Sara Bareilles)
Arr: Alexa ’06.5/Soloist: Naomi ‘08

Misery Business (Paramore)

Happy Ending (Mika)
Arr: Alison ‘04/Soloist: Polly ‘10


Sunday, December 9, 2007

December '07 Updates

Well, the Fall show was fantastic! The following songs debuted with great success:

Come Around (Marc Broussard) arr: Laurel, solo: Dottie
I Like It (The Dixie Chicks) arr: Dena & Doot, solo: Doot
The Walk (Imogen Heap) arr: Doot, solo: Nah
All You Need Is Love (The Beatles) arr: Dena, solo: Dena & Baller

Umm... I think that's it...

Anyway, I hear the Holiday Show went equally as well, which brings me to the most exciting news:

There are 2 new newbies!!

Congrats to our latest additions from the class of '11, Lindsey & Gracie! Hooray!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Mel. Wknd Update & New Email for Alums

Well, Meliora '07 was a smashing success -- thanks to all the Alums who came and of course to the current group for being fabulous hostesses!

Amongst other praise from many audience members, we received glowing reviews from the YJs from the '70s (who have seen us every year), saying that this year was the best set they'd seen from us in a long time.

The current group opened with a debut of the Natalie Imbruglia song Wishing I Was There, soloed by Bonnie Jarrett '09 and dueted by Polly Flinch '10. They brought the house down with the soulful Downfall by Matchbox 20, soloed by Martha Guenther '07. Then the alums took the stage with the following set, joined in waves by more current classes:

- Tainted Love (Soft Cell)
solo: Naomi Weinstock '06

- Goodbye (Save Ferris)
solo: Jenn Meeter '03, duet: Katy Nosse '06

- Sweet Ones (Sarah Slean)
solo: Catey Juravich '04, duet: Kristy Doot '08, Rachel Thibo '07

- Don't Let Your Heart (Mint Juleps)
solo: Gen Chawluk '04

- These Boots Are Made For Walkin' (Nancy Sinatra)
solo: Marisa Antos-Fallon '04

- Still In Love (Brian McKnight)

- I Think We're Alone Now (Tiffany)
solo: Laura Weaver '06, duet: Meredith Flouton-Barnes '06

- Don't Know Nothin' (For Real)
solos: Annie Keller '02, Betsy Angell '03, Alison Zwecker '04

- Lisa's Song (Domestic Science Club)
Sung in memory of Katie McManus ('07)

- Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (The Andrews Sisters)

It was a fun night in the new Alumni Center Auditorium, which is a slightly more intimate venue than Strong Auditorium, as the stage is a little closer to the audience. Fun times all around.

Perhaps most exciting of all, we were approached after the show by 2 original members from 1969, who expressed to us how excited they are for the coming 40th in 2009 -- it's definitely going to be a great show, and we were happy to hear that the word is out!

Along those lines... There is a new contact email for Alums: Please use it to get us any updated personal contact info or news. We are also looking for any pictures you might have from your years in the group that can be put into a slideshow for the 40th -- it may seem early, but those dates creep up quickly and we want to be prepared! Start getting in touch with your old classmates to make sure you're well represented at what is sure to be an awesome celebration of our 40 years! Also be sure to check out the website (linked in the Right sidebar) for updates about the current group (Fall Show: November 9th) and to view the Alum page as well.

Love and Ba-Ba-Doos!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Always Better

Meliora Weekend fast approaches and Alums will be returning to their beloved college home, and the current group will be faced with the invasion of the very same. For our group, like it or not, this weekend has been the source of some weird tension in the past; never fully acknowledged, never really understood, and therefore never really dealt with.

I was speaking with one of the current members recently about what this could actually be about, from whence it might stem, and how we could strive to understand things better.

Here's what we came up with (an explication, if you will): Every year, a class graduates. In the months leading up to May, the group worries about the holes that will be made by their departure, thinking, "How are we ever going to find someone who can hit that high note? Who will rock out on bass quite like her?" The senior show comes, people cry over champagne and bouquets, and then you realize that you are going to sing it all again 3 weeks later on the day before graduation. Summer feels liberating as you rejoice in your friends from home and not having to go to rehearsal, but as August finally rolls around, you realize you've missed the camaraderie and can't wait to get back to school and to singing! You sit through hours of auditions and get really excited about the newbies, and, while it's different, you realize that maybe this year is actually going to be ok. The semester comes at you fast in a flurry of learning, gigging, and touring. The group bonds, you learn new songs, you fill in old parts, and you move on.

On the other side of things, as a Senior, you dread the approach of May while also welcoming it. You're scared about what you're going to do after you graduate because our society only tells us what to expect up until the end of college. While your mind is preoccupied with that fear, you're also really excited at the same time. You are tired of the group drama and the musical obligations that may get in the way of partying with friends who you might not see again for a while. You also know you're going to miss it terribly and wonder if there are musical groups in the city you're moving to that will remotely compare. You start to think about your journey in the group; how things have changed, what you brought to the dynamic, what they'll be missing when you leave, and what it will be like to visit.

And then comes October.

The combination of different emotions is so ridiculously confusing. At the combined rehearsal, you're excited, nervous, stressed, unsure, and completely overwhelmed. There are new faces, new songs, new sounds, and lots and lots of women in a small, poorly ventilated room. The newly bonded but still slightly fragile current group is faced with the arrival of old members who have not been privy to the inside jokes, the new songs, or the changes that have inevitably come about, but who have a whole slew of their own at the same time. The people who used to be really tight are still friends, but have arrived at a different phase of friendship. There are suddenly 4 directors in the room, trying to figure out a chain of command. There are thirty people talking after the pitch has been played, instead of 3. The current group wonders what the alums will think of their new sound; they want to look good and sound great. The alums are excited to hear the new stuff, but they're also secretly hoping that maybe they'll be able to tell that they've been missed.

The resulting weekend is therefore muddled. It's neat to meet the new ladies you haven't ever met before. It's also overwhelming. It's cool to hear the old and new songs and see for yourself how things have changed. It's also inevitable that the two be compared a little bit.

What I would like to propose for this year and all those in the future is that we try to leave that comparison at just that – comparison – and leave the judgement out of it. We are all very talented women. We have also all been so lucky to be involved with this group, a group that has a rich, far-reaching history of being different from "the other girl groups." Let's prove it by leaving the pettiness at the door, and just get excited about the new and the old at the same time. Let's sing together and be psyched about the extensive history we're continuing and creating, and just have an awesome weekend.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

In Memoriam

I am sorry to have to write that last week, a VP alum was tragically involved in a fatal car accident.

Katie McManus, or KatieMac, as we knew her, was a vibrant personality and member of the group from 2003-2004. She was easy-going, dedicated, cheerful, sang beautifully, and was a sweet soul who we were all privileged to have known.

From the moment she walked into her audition in the Gowen Room, Katie caught our attention. She was wearing a Strong Bad tee shirt and a funky skirt, and in true VP form we were psyched about her interest in homestarrunner and cool personal style. Many of us marked down her attire and her big smile in our notes as a way to remember her. That proved easy, however, as she warmed up with a sweet sounding, pure, high voice and then sang a beautiful rendition of "Angel," by Sarah McLachlan. As with many things she did, her solo had a unique spin on it, and really sounded original and not just a copy of the recording. Her congenial attitude impressed us throughout, and her ability to quickly learn the stuff we put in front of her made it a relatively easy discussion.

Katie joined us enthusiastically that fall with Martha, and the two of them added a fun, positive edge to the group. She was the third dramatically inclined VP-er in the group at the time, and rehearsals were full of funny moments that are still referenced in favorite memories of past members. Katie's first solo was recorded on our cd released in the Spring of '04; she sang the high trio, blending with Catey and Martha on the Sarah McLachlan song "Elsewhere."

At the end of that year, Katie decided to leave the group in order to pursue other things at the UofR. It was always fun to see her in Todd Theater and Drama House productions. We ran into her on campus lots of times, obviously, and she continued to be fully supportive of the group and its pursuits.

The last time we sang with her was at the Senior Show in 2007, when she came to support former VP class-members Martha, Thibo, and Alexa. She sat in the front row with the other alums, and joined us in singing Boogie at the close of the show. I don't think the audience noticed, but we somehow managed to skip an entire verse, prompting an especially boisterous and laughter-filled performance of an already fun song :)

Katie will be missed by all who knew her; we feel so lucky to have been able to spend as much time with her as we did. She was a valued presence in the group that year, and it was always lovely to see her smiling face around campus.

"say, do you know a place where i can find peace of mind
for a time, a kind of a tenderness place?

a place that's just naturally made for me,
just big enough for my love...

i gotta find me a soft nest i can let my heart rest in"

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hello and Welcome!

'Elloooooo! (I love you! I love you madly!)

Welcome to the VP blog!

We'll post here with updates on the current group and past members. This is a casual, fun way to keep yourself up-to-date with our general goings-on! :)

Right now, the current group is on summer break, scattered all across this country and various others... We'll be heading back to the UofR in late August for the end of freshman orientation and to get settled ourselves before embarking on our 38th year as a group. Our arrangers are finishing up their work and we expect to come at this year with a great set full of old favorites and new surprises... We're already looking forward to it!