A new student guide to arts groups around Grounds – The Cavalier Daily
Chalk on the walkways, flyers on lampposts, booths set up all over the South Lawn – Grounds clubs and student organizations are advertising with a smile to potential new members. Walking through Grounds at the start of the year brings a fresh wave of new opportunities to get involved.
For new students, it can be difficult to find a group you feel comfortable in. Often students don’t know where to start. Joining an art group can be a great way to find friends who share common interests, like music, performance, design and more. From students with high school arts experience to students interested in pursuing the arts but not sure where to look, the following guide can provide insight into the many arts groups at the University. A Exhaustive list artistic groups can be found on the atUVA website.
For those who like to sing, there are a few traditional choirs on Grounds affiliated with the McIntire music department. Students from all majors and all fields participate in these groups as a creative outlet and a way to continue singing after high school. The University Singers of all genres are the flagship choir of the department. Along with their many performances on Grounds, the band have toured extensively around the world and any student can Register for a one-on-one audition that tests range, musicality, and basic music theory. Other choirs affiliated with the Department of Music include the Virginia Women’s Chorus and the Virginia Glee Club consisting of only tenors and basses.
For many, these choirs become a family.
“University Singers was my first family at U.Va. and took me in while I was still looking for my place in the University,” said University Singers president and fourth-year college student Kevin Duan.[University Singers are] all united by their love and passion for making breathtaking music and sharing it with the community.
As Duan points out, these bands are a place where new and old members can come together to create performances they are proud of, as well as cultivate lasting friendships. For any potential singer, Duan said bands like University Singers welcome new members with open arms and support them through the audition process.
“I know you’re feeling anxious and scared, but I guarantee you’re not alone,” Duan said.
After the stress of auditions, the payoff in performance is worth it. To hear performances from the University Singers, Virginia Women’s Chorus and Virginia Glee Club, be sure to catch Rotunda Sing Wednesday on the Lawn starting at 8:00 p.m.
As reiterated in the movie “Pitch Perfect” and its many sequels, a cappella is a big deal on college campuses – especially in college. The bands sing without instruments, using their voices to fill in the background. The University has a thriving and welcoming a cappella community, each with their own style.
Some bands sing in the upper register, like the all-treble Hoos in Treble and The Virginia Sil’hooettes, while others sing only in the low tenor and bass register, like the Hullabahoos and Virginia Gentleman. The University also has mixed pop groups, such as the New Dominions and Harmonious Hoos. Some even focus on specific types of music – the Flying V, for example, sing rock music exclusively, while Ektaal sing a mix of popular South Asian and English songs.
“I like to think there’s a band for everyone, and the whole audition process really lets you see what each band is about,” said Eddy Trujillo, president of the A Cappella Presidents Council, member of the Hullabahoos and fourth year engineering. student.
Trujillo encouraged anyone interested in singing to audition, regardless of musical background.
“I had never sung in a choir or read sheet music with my voice before auditioning. While having experience is nice, we look for raw talent and care most that each new member that we take is really joining a family,” Trujillo said.
A cappella groups presented at the Activities Lounge and will perform at Rotunda Sing. Auditions take place the first week of class.
Music on Grounds does not stop at singing. There is a plethora of groups and orchestras, both student and university.
The Cavalier Symphony Orchestra is an entirely student-run orchestra that anyone can join without an audition, although there are smaller audition-only chamber groups within the orchestra. The symphony orchestra offers students the opportunity to pursue music in college without a rigorous schedule.
The music department also offers many audition-only chamber ensembles and jazz bands. A particularly renowned group is the Charlottesville Symphony, which is open to faculty and community members as well as talented students. Different from the student-run Cavalier Symphony Orchestra, the Charlottesville Symphony Orchestra is an auditioned group for professional musicians from across the city. They give many concerts throughout the semester with a range of guest artists.
Each of these groups will be present at the Activities Fair with More information on hearings.
For students who have dance experience––or for those who want to try something new––there are many dance groups to consider. From aerial dance to breakdance, there truly is a dance group for everyone. Some of the audition-based groups include the Virginia Dance Company, The University Dance Club, X-Tasee Dance Crew, and AKAdeMiX Dance Crew. Some of the no-audition groups include APEX Dance Crew, Ballroom Dance Club, and University Salsa Club.
For some, these groups are a way out of their comfort zone. For others, they’re a way to keep enjoying the show.
“It gave me the opportunity to keep performing…I learned so much from other dancers who were more knowledgeable about other styles that were foreign to me,” said Virginia Dance Company member and student Victoria Rodawig. second year in college.
The Virginia Dance Company is a student-run group for dedicated dancers, and they perform multiple times throughout the semester. The auditions will take place the weekend after the start of classes.
“For any prospective members, I would advise them to really enjoy the audition process,” Rodawig said. “Even though it can be a bit scary to dance in front of strangers… we’ve all been in the same position. Just consider it a fun masterclass! »
For those with a flair for design and the visual arts, consider submitting to the University’s V Magazine, the school’s fashion, arts and culture magazine. The student-run magazine publishes a publication each semester and features student submissions on art, photography, fashion, and writing. VMAG also offers various events throughout the year, such as a fashion gala at the Fralin Museum of Art last spring. The magazine can be a great way for someone to publicize their creations.
Other groups exploring design and the visual arts are the Ceramics Club, Darden Photography Club and more. Whether the artistic elements are physical or virtual, every visual arts group at the University emphasizes the importance of staying creative and learning new ways to engage with art.
Whether a student is an actor, band member, or prefers to be behind the scenes, there are plenty of theater organizations on Grounds, especially for new students.
In First Year Players, the upperclassmen direct and stage a musical while the freshmen and transfer students perform. The group is structured so that new members are supported by people who have been on shows before.
“In FYP, we have this cheesy kind of thing that stands for ‘Find Your Place,’ but it’s really true,” said Isabella Sheridan, this semester’s musical director and third-year student. “Anyone who wants to be a part of this community will find a place here – whether in the cast, the pit or the tech – and they will be welcomed with so much support from every member of the organization.”
This semester, FYP offers “Hello Dolly!” The musical follows matchmaker Dolly Levi to New York, where she is tasked with finding a partner for wealthy Horace Vandergelder, despite secretly wanting to marry the man herself.
First-years are welcome to audition for the cast, audition for the pit, or join one of the technical teams.
There are also other theater groups that perform both plays and musicals where upper classes can be chosen. Spectrum Theater presents a play or musical every semester run entirely by students, and everyone is welcome to audition. Shakespeare on the Lawn presents two of Shakespeare’s productions a year, for which there are open auditions.
If you enjoy making people laugh, you should consider joining one of the University’s many beloved comedy groups. The University’s oldest improv group, the Whatmen, performs both short and long comedy. The short form involves short, unrelated scenes or games, while the long form runs through several ad hoc scenes that connect. The Whatmen perform several times during the semester and their chalk advertisements are constantly posted around Grounds. Her next upcoming show is September 9th.
The comedy groups around Grounds bring a positive vibe to the University by making the audience laugh.
While auditioning for arts groups can be nerve-wracking, stepping out of a comfort zone could lead to the most memorable college experiences and finding a group of best friends.
“The arts community at U.Va. is an amazing community full of welcoming and caring people,” Duan said.