The keys of a piano are played to warm up but are forgotten when the performance starts. It begins as one voice leads the remaining 10 voices to harmony.
Musicians rely on instruments to penetrate the ears of their listeners, but the acapella group, Apollo, forgoes the traditional expectation of music and relies on their voices to create an impactful song.
According to a lesson on music history, acapella “began in the 14th century but became much more popular in the 1500s. Acapella, which derives from the word alla capella (meaning chapel singing with musical accompaniment), was originally sung and produced in the form of gospel singing.”
Apollo is one of many acapella groups at BYU-Idaho. The group includes 11 BYU-I male singers who represent different backgrounds and majors.
Each member of Apollo went through an audition process that included performing a song and sight-reading music. When they passed the audition process, the weekly three-hour practices began.
Kyle Anderson, a freshman studying computer science, was born into a family of generational singers.
“They had a singing group called the Anderson von Trapps like the sound of music,” Anderson said about his family. “They would go around singing, and it’s just been a part of my life forever.”
Anderson started choir in the sixth grade and hasn’t stopped singing since. This is his second semester with Apollo.
“It is the most fun one can have,” Anderson said. “Just singing with your boys is so much fun.”
Joseph Wilde, a freshman studying biochemistry, started singing as a child in church. Wilde joined an acapella group in high school and has loved his first semester in the Apollo acapella group.
“I really got interested in vocal percussion when I heard Pentatonix for the first time,” Wilde said. “I was like, ‘Oh, that’s kind of cool. I’m going to try that out.’”
Apollo meets for three hours every week to practice six different musical pieces. This semester, they practiced and performed three pop songs and three Christmas songs.
“We really don’t get as much done as we should,” Wilde said. “There is a lot a lot of goofing around and a lot of talk when you’re supposed to be listened to the director, but we get it done.”
Apollo had many unique experiences during this semester as they were able to perform at the BYU-I Christmas tree lighting.
“The greatest memory was singing for the Christmas tree lighting,” Anderson said. “We were just very dialed in, and it was a lot of fun. I felt like we sang our best.”
In addition to the Christmas tree lighting, Apollo was able to bring light to a local nursing home as they performed for the residents. To finish off the semester, they performed with BYU Provo’s acapella group, Noteworthy.
“We got to meet a lot of the singers and some of the other ensemble members that were there,” said Jacob Stringham, a freshman studying general education. “We got to learn just how talented our brethren and sisters are.”
Through these experiences, each member of Apollo grew individually as a singer and as a whole. Apollo is excited for upcoming semesters as they continue to grow and develop as a group.
“You have 11 voices singing, and all of us have different styles and different tones of voices,” Anderson said. “Understanding how to blend together, and finding that blend, is probably one of the hardest things, even though we do a pretty darn good job.”