HomeBear Vocals

School or Affiliation: University of Maine Orono
Orono, ME
UNITED STATES

Bear Vocals

Bear Vocals started in the fall of ’03 as an a cappella experiment by Kevin Child. At the time the only contemporary a cappella groups you could be a part of at UMaine required you to be a member of the University of Maine Singers as well. After realizing that there was a tremendous amount of musical talent not being tapped into, Kevin started the group. There were 4 original members: Kevin Child, Jessica Cancel, Nestor Gonzalez and Seth Morton. After a few sets of auditions a group of 14 students became UMaine’s first mixed a cappella group. The group struggled for the first few months with attendance and commitment problems. They had 2 music directors come and go within their first year (Courtney Babbage and Seth Morton). Although life ended up leading these individuals down paths outside of Bear Vocals the group would not be what it is today with out them, and their leadership in the beginning helped tremendously to get Bear Vocals off the ground. After another set of auditions Michael Dwyer (known as Mikey D, or Dwyer) was named the groups new music director. His leadership and musical ability ultimately helped form Bear Vocals original sound. After 1 ½ years of being the music director Dwyer graduated and left the musical direction in the hands of Joshua Belka who is currently still leading the group with John Hollander as business director. Kevin Child stepped down after 2 ½ years to pursue other a cappella interests. Bear Vocals has performed in many public and private venues, and has shared the stage with the Maine Steiners and Renaissance. This year they hope to make it into the International Competition of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA’s).

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