HomeFirst Time Out: UC Denver’s Mix Takes Second Place at SoJam

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Do you remember your first SoJam?

The members of UC Denver’s Mix certainly do. The eclectic collegiate group attended and competed for the first time at SoJam X, placing second in the Friday night collegiate competition.  

Hailing from the University of Colorado, Denver, Mix (formerly UCD 6) is an award-winning group made up of students majoring in Recording Arts, Music Business and Vocal Performance. This group has placed in both the Rocky Mountain Harmony Sweepstakes and the International Championships of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA), and has performed in many local venues such as Dazzle Jazz, Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret and Jazz at Jacks. Their first EP, Breaking Ground, was released in April 2012.

What few people know is that Mix is actually a one credit class at UCD, taught by the group’s director and founder, Dr. Erin Hackel. However, the preparation it takes to get ready for SoJam is worth way more than one credit. “For us, the preparation stage meant a total of 9+ hours/week in rehearsal: learning parts, choreographing, drilling, brainstorming creative additions to our pieces, costuming, polishing, resting, energizing, promoting, and still managing to find the time to make a few jokes to remind ourselves that this is what we’ve signed up for, “ says Michelle Ghun, current Junior at UCD studying Music Entertainment & Industries Studies emphasizing in Recording Arts.

Currently working on their next studio album, Mix’s Daniel Bailey, a Junior and Music Business major at UCD, chimes in with some high praise: “Luis Sandoval is kind of our jack of all trades.  He is our tenor as well as our studio technician.  He records, mixes and masters all of our studio music including our album that is out now on iTunes under our previous name (UCD 6). He and his team at Oneiro Media designed and monitor our website, do our photo shoots and our promo videos.“ When asked about his experience at SoJam, Luis responded, “We didn't know what to expect, especially with the format of the competition being changed for the first time since its creation.  Really, our experience at SoJam was eye opening to the fact that we've got a good thing going on as a group.”

A “good thing”, indeed.

The success of Mix and their style of music, sends a clear message about the direction a cappella is heading. When questioned what she would like to see happen in the future of a cappella Michelle said, “I’d like to see a cappella start to understand its own sense of eccentricity, alongside the limitations, to help develop a level playing field with other genres. A comeback of using the voice as its own instrument instead of a standard that says the voice must imitate other instruments. There must be a compromise between the two, don’t you think? I think generations after us will have the same difficult responsibility in finding that balance.”

Be sure to check out their upcoming original single, “Water” – if you had the pleasure of hearing it performed live at SoJam, you will understand why.

[photos courtesy Michael Eldredge]