Rising junior Danny Kotula writes this week's blog as he shares about his experience being the only male in our talented A Cappella Singers.
As a member of the A Cappella choir at Cornerstone, I get a lot of questions from people about my experience over the course of these two years (wow, has it been that long?) I’ve been a member of the group. Probably the most common question I get is asking what it’s like being the only guy in the group. Well, I won’t say it’s easy because it’s not; there are plenty of times when I feel a bit isolated from the rest of the group for sure. However, the girls in the choir are super fun and exciting, and they also have been more than happy to help me feel like one of them despite my gender. The combination of all seven of our personalities creates a really fun atmosphere for everybody in the group, which makes our rehearsals and performances all the more fun.
What About Those Early Mornings?
That brings me to another common question people have for me- how do you manage waking up so early for your Monday morning rehearsals? That’s not easy either, but it’s totally worth the hour or two of sleep I lose. The fun times and inside jokes we all share in the group serve as motivation for me to get up in the morning and give my best effort along with everyone else in our group. We also have rehearsals on Wednesday afternoons right after school, which can be difficult after a draining day but keeps us grounded and helps us grow in our fellowship with one another.
"I can honestly say that it’s well worth the time it takes, and the early Monday mornings we endure..."
Similarly, some have asked how I’m able to balance A Cappella rehearsals with my weekly school schedule. This is when I have to shout out Cornerstone and its truly unique University-Model, because as cliche as it sounds, the two home days a week I have on Tuesday and Thursday are very helpful to me in being able to finish my homework. That doesn’t mean I get to slack off, though, as I still have to use this extra time I get diligently because of Cornerstone rigorous courses and large homework load. Also, taking an AP class has monumentally increased both these things in my schedule, so I have to increase my productivity even more.
One final question I frequently get asked is how hard it really is to beatbox. I like to tell people I’m a living example of how simple it is to pick up because I had never beatboxed at all before joining A Cappella two years ago. I knew I had a good sense of rhythm, but I soon learned that creating sounds from my mouth that correlate with that rhythm is a totally different animal. Luckily for me, though, it was a very fun and relatively simple animal to tame; it became almost natural for me once I got the technique down of how to create the right sounds with my mouth and my vocal chords. I will say that I really benefitted from listening to a lot of Pentatonix songs and listening to how their beatboxer, Kevin Olusola, sounds to improve my own sounds. Our teacher, Mrs. Simmons, also deserves a lot of credit for my improvement in this skill because of her willingness to work with me as I learned and encouraged me to keep working hard to improve.
So, that answers just about every question I’m commonly asked about my membership in the A Cappella choir. I can honestly say that it’s well worth the time it takes, and the early Monday mornings we endure, and it’s extremely helpful in improving one’s vocal strength and range. Without A Cappella, I would not have many of the friendships I’ve developed here at Cornerstone, nor would I have most of my beatboxing and vocal skills, and for that reason, I would strongly recommend anyone interested in singing or music, in general, to audition for a spot in our group. We’re always looking to add like-minded members who have a fun personality and a heart for serving the Lord with our talents and further improving those talents with our peers.
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