A cappella is a type of singing performed without instruments. Ohio University is home to several a cappella groups, such as the Picardy Thirds and Dynamics. Dynamics is a competitive group, meaning they spend their year prepping for the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, or ICCAs. In comparison, the Picardy Thirds, also known as P3, is the only co-ed, non-competitive a cappella group on campus.
“We sing for fun, we sing for other groups and we sing for charity events,” Emma King, a sophomore studying communications and president of P3, said.
For Dynamics, the ICCA competitions are set up as bracket tournaments with quarterfinals, semifinals and finals. The first step in getting to the ICCAs is submitting a video to Varsity Vocals, which the group is currently working on.
For a student to get involved with P3 or Dynamics, they would have to audition.
“Our audition process is every semester, but we have help sessions leading up to our auditions,” Lena Kalantzis, a senior studying journalism and vice president and music director of P3, said. “You have to go to at least one -- we usually have three or four -- but you have to go to at least one help session, and our auditions are back-to-back with help sessions.”
The help sessions allow potential members to learn a snippet of a song before the audition. While at the audition, students will also get their range checked and sing a little of their own prepared solo before the executive board decides if they are a right fit for the group.
Dynamics runs its auditions very similarly, but it also offers online auditions for those who cannot attend an in-person audition.
With many groups on campus, it is important for the groups to separate themselves from each other. For P3, the fact they are non-competitive is what sets them apart. For Dynamics, their alternative music choices make them stand out in the crowd.
Although the P3s are non-competitive, they do various shows throughout the year. Their next show is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 7 after the OU Homecoming football game and will be an alumni performance in front of the Alumni Gateway. They also will be performing in The Front Room Coffeehouse in Baker University Center as a part of the Cafe A Cappella event on Thursdays from 6-7 p.m.
Just like the characters from 'Pitch Perfect,' P3 is a family above everything else.
“Our main thing is just being able to be like a family for people that are like coming to college,” King said. “We’re a lot of very rambunctious but also down-to-earth people.”
The Dynamics encourage everyone who is interested to just show up and try.
“Sometimes people just think they can’t sing but then they come in and they’re awesome.” Grayson Alzono, a sophomore majoring in forensic chemistry and the president of Dynamics said.
Lily Franks, a sophomore studying theater and Dynamics vice president, echoed this statement.
“We got so many people in our group who either prefaced with, ‘Oh my God, I’m horrible. This is gonna be so bad,’ and then got in, or were like, ‘I’m not gonna get in. I’m just doing this for fun,’ and got in; we have so many people who did that. So I encourage everyone to try,” Franks said.
Whether a student wants to join an a cappella group to compete, or just wants to have fun singing on campus, Dynamics and P3 both offer homes to any student who is willing to get up and sing.