Columns, Opinion

Small Smiles: Aca-awesome

Considering how far from musically inclined I have been my entire life, it’s safe to say I never came into contact with much music growing up. I played violin for a year or two in elementary school, but that quickly died out. I stayed far away from it in high school — I played a lot of sports instead. It was just one of those things I never did. But when a close friend of mine invited me and some others to one of her a capella performances here at Boston University this weekend, and I saw a lot more musical talent than I ever even imagined.

The whole experience felt like one of those college moments we are always told about, where you attend something or do something totally atypical for yourself. It was eye opening. The closest I could possibly come to understanding what my best friend meant while talking about anything a capella, or even anything musically related, was that rehearsals seemed to be an equivalent to the grueling sports practices I had growing up.

When I got to the show, I still knew nothing other than that it all sounded good. I did not know anything about how they did it or why they picked what songs or even how much time went into it all. This last part alone left me feeling really ignorant, but excited to be able to learn and engage with the things I knew so little about.

As I sat through the show, I was in absolute awe of how brave they all were. Cheesy, I know, but I really was baffled — I knew I could never stand up there and do what they were doing. Public speaking had been a nightmare for me as a kid, and even the idea of stepping on a stage and not just talking, but singing, had my skin crawling. “Good for them,” ran through my head each time a new group came on.

After that realization came the humbling experience of realizing a capella is just one of many communities here at BU I know absolutely nothing about. As big as this school is, it is far too easy to fall into a routine with a few close friends from weekend to weekend. Sitting there and seeing all these different groups right from this school perform was a nice reminder that there is far more going on here than I am even kind of aware of. There were all these different groups of all different sizes, all of whom spend countless hours rehearsing with each other each week. The show made me want to get up and get out and engage with the absurdly long list of communities BU has to offer.

The show left me dumbstruck at the amount of sheer talent that was sitting right there in the Tsai Performance Center. It was not even a sample of all of the students at BU who engage in something having to do with music. I felt really proud to go to school with kids even remotely as talented as the ones I saw on stage last night — and this was just the a capella singing part of it! I left wondering about all the talent I did not know, the talent I would get to see in my next few years here and the talent I might not make it to. Regardless, I realized how much was there.

It was a wholesome night — I felt more engaged and a part of the community than I ever have while engaging in the typical weekend fun. Nights like that are what college is actually about — at least to me — and I’m excited to have many more of them over the next four years.

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