This week’s Mic Drop guest is the acapella group, Sonata Problem. While the group is composed of various students with different majors, Rachel Davis ’19 is an organizational communication major with a minor in political science.
Madeline Klepec: How do you choose songs with a group of people with different musical interests?
Rachel Davis: Usually when we’re picking, especially for competition season, it’ll be a song we hear and think we might sound good on. After showing it to the rest of the executive board, we’ll vote ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ and then we’ll have Ruth or Luke arrange it for us. When competition season is finished, we encourage other members of the group who want to try their hand at arranging to give us a piece to perform at our spring concert. Also, we still perform a few pieces arranged by some of the original group members, like Mark Miller.
MK: What is your favorite aspect of being in this acapella group?
RD: Personally, I love that I get to sing, which is something that I’ve always loved, and that I get to hang out with the rest of the group who has definitely become like a family to me. There are several times throughout the year where I’ll say “this is my favorite part about Sonata,” like auditions, ICCA and our spring concert, but it’s really hard for me to pinpoint a true favorite part about being in the group.
MK: Can you talk about projects or recordings your group has done off campus?
RD: We’ve done several gigs in the past few years and quite a few recently for organizations that have found us through our social media, which is super exciting. Last year, we were fortunate enough to have a recording session with one of Abby’s family friends and they helped us record two of our songs to put on a CD. So we’re really proud of that and are hopeful that we can record and produce more of our stuff. We also were given the opportunity to sing with Ryan O’Neal of Sleeping at Last at last year’s TEDxNCC event. Through that, we’ve actually recorded for two of his tracks that he released this summer which was huge for us. It was personally very fun because I love Sleeping at Last and actually sang one of his songs for my Sonata audition three years ago.
MK: What’s the most satisfying part about performing?
RD: Personally, the most satisfying part about performing is when we’ve gone through a particularly difficult rehearsal process and finally lock into our parts. It’s very rewarding that we can actually hear our progress! My favorite performance during my time in the group so far has definitely been performing at ICCA last year. We were the newbies and were also the only group from a small private school, competing against schools like University of Wisconsin and Illinois State University. It was daunting and we had no idea what the experience was going to be like; however, it was without a doubt the best performance we’ve ever given. We were so moved with joy after we got off the stage. It’s a feeling I’ll never forget!