By Sebastian Moronta Blanco, Staff Writer
Each week, in the boisterous halls of CVPA, student-musicians use all manner of instrument to study and perform, but one group doesn’t use any. Well, any non-living instruments, that is.
Mental Note is an acapella group based here at UMass Dartmouth.
The group is the only acapella group on campus, and is made up entirely of UMass students.
Auditions are held every semester, and an e-board made up of students in the group select the newest voices to join the team.
The group performs at most campus events, as well as invitationals across the region.
In the past, Mental Note have traveled to Keene State and UMass Lowell to perform with a collective of acapella groups from other schools.
Mental Note’s premier events of the year are its Winter and Spring Concerts, where the group performs a larger set list than at any other event the group attends.
Practices are held twice a week on Sundays and Wednesdays in CVPA room 107.
I will admit I’ve stopped by in the past to listen for a moment on my way back to the Dells.
The group meets a collective four and a half hours a week, four and a half hours of practice, and it shows.
Mental Note group members pride themselves on the group’s inclusive and warm environment.
Samantha Wahl, a junior English and Spanish major and soprano is beginning her third semester with the group.
“Not only do you get to make music but it’s such a welcoming group.There’s a real sense of community, and it has helped me grow as a person while I’ve been here.”
Rachel Ferreira, a biomedical engineering and biotechnology masters student is perhaps one of the oldest members of the group, and has stayed with the group so long because she has become great friends with the other members.
“It’s such a fun group…we all become best friends. That’s why I still stick around.”
Everyone in the group has a say in what pieces are performed.
Anyone can arrange a song, and submit it to the e-board for review, before the group decides whether or not they’d like to perform the song.
According to Samia Arado, a junior Portuguese major in the group, there are rarely any disagreements.
“It’s music, we’re all here to sing.” Ferreira added, “We try to have a diverse set list but it usually ends up being the kind of music we like, not necessarily what’s on the radio.”
“We travel to invitationals each year which is always fun because, you know, road trip!” exclaimed Arianna Leo, a senior photo major. “We’re trying to do even more events this year.”
The group has built a steady fandom over the years at UMass, attending events “religiously” and often calling out fan-favorite songs like Ed Sheeran’s “Give Me Love,” and Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours.”
The group took a large number of singers this semester and as a result the group will not be holding auditions again next semester.
Folks can see Mental Note at most large campus events, and this year’s Winter Concert will be held Friday, December 1 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in CVPA room 153.
To learn more about Mental Note, visit their Facebook Page.