May 20, 2010

From Solfege to Soulfege

Although the Knox College Choir is on a temporary hiatus until the fall, freshman Laurel Tippe has still been busy bringing people together through vocal music. However, this music has a bit of a different tone than choral music.

Tippe is the director and founder of a new a capella group on campus called Soulfege. The name is a pun (obviously) on the words “solfege” and “soul.” It reflects the club’s mission of taking tunes already written and rewriting them for jazz voices. As Tippe would put it, it is about “turning a potentially good song into an even better song.”

Not surprisingly, Soulfege’s conception was inspired by Tippe’s passion for a capella music and her desire to be a music director in the future. All the other schools that she applied to had a capella groups, and she had thought that Knox would have one as well.

Instead of sulking in disappointment, she took the opportunity to gain experience directing and organizing a musical group of her own. Her tagline for the club is: “for people who love music, love to sing, love to jam, and want to meet others who do too.”

The purpose of the club goes beyond just the joy of singing and making music. Tippe suggests that it is also a way to break students into the music department and promote the school.

Being a music major herself, she has experienced the nurturing nature of the department and wants to show that to other students who had not considered music as a potential major before. It also can serve as promotion for the college in general. If prospective students are anything like Tippe, Soulfege’s presence on campus will likely influence their decision.

Some of the songs that will be sung by the group will be “When I’m 64,” “Orange Colored Sky,” and an arrangement of Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek” by junior Edward Davis.

Soulfege had 33 auditions on April 28 and 29, and now consists of 22 members. Its officers are: treasurer Davis, sophomore Vice President Angie Ostaszewski – and freshman Secretary Lauren Pepper. They practice on Tuesday nights in the Center for Fine Arts.

Sam Brownson
Sam Brownson ’12 majored in philosophy and minored in anthropology and sociology. This is his second year copy editing for TKS; he is also currently a post-baccalaureate fellow in music and theater and will be composing the music for two productions as part of Knox’s Repertory Theatre Term. A self-described grammar Nazi, Sam worked as a TKS reporter and as a writer and editor for his high school newspaper before joining the TKS editorial staff. He also manages social media for Brownson Properties in Holland, Mich.

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