Making the Roster: The Inside Scoop on Varsity A Capella Recruiting

By Lizette Roman-Johnston

We all know Skidmore College takes its a capella very seriously; they practice tirelessly and compete across the region. But their prestige does not simply come from their vocals. In fact, much of their success stems from how they recruit their members. While many think the only way to make the team is to try out with everyone else, some members get scouted out as early as middle school. Many of these recruits blossom into some of a capella’s biggest studs.

The Skidmo’ Daily spoke with some a capella MVPs to get the low-down. Tanner Collins, a current member of the Bandersnatchers, said that he had initially been recruited by the Yale Whiffenpoofs. They were arguably from a more prestigious college and undoubtedly a better performing group. Still, Collins followed his heart, choosing the less high-stakes option. He added, “I also figured I would get more playing time in a Division Three squad.” Now Collins is one of the Bandersnatchers’ key members and is on his way to becoming next year’s starting bassist.

We also spoke with Cheryl Williams, a returning member of the Dynamics. “I started my recruiting process in my freshman year of high school. The music director of the Dynos at the time had stalked my YouTube channel, where I posted Camp Rock covers,” Williams told us. She added that she was also recruited by the Sonneteers, but ultimately the Dynamics offered her a solo in her first semester, while the Sonneteers made no such promise of a starting position.

So many factors play a role in one’s decision to choose their family for the next four years. Angela Morello dealt with the pressure of her mother, a Drastic Measures alum, to follow in her footsteps. Like most Drastics, Morello’s mother looked down upon the Treblemakers, calling them all-inclusive trash; “She told me that Morellos were winners, that we fought for positions and never accepted anything that was handed to us. But the Trebs make me feel welcome, like I can be myself. I don’t sing to get barked at because I can’t sing in 6/4 time.” After a Facebook status surfaced from Morello, reading “ACCEPTED! Skidmore Treblemakers Class of 2021!!!” we can confirm that Morello has gone with her heart.

Here at Skidmo’, we encourage everyone to do the same, despite all the external pressures. Just remember: we are students first and foremost and do not need the glory of being a member of a team. Many performers burn themselves out, thus leading to vocal injuries and psychological stress. We must remind ourselves that a capella is not life. After all, we don’t want to be post-graduates who constantly live in their “glory days” as a capella stars.

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