The union of music (Part 2 of 3)

AJ Valcin

In my recent interviews with individuals about student-led music groups originating from Union College, I always pushed questions about the "music philosophy" behind the tunes they lay down. Each act aims to achieve a certain objective during their tenure.

Specifically, acapella aficionado Ben VandeVere, a senior vocal performance major, has long stood by the idea of bridging the gap between oft-forgotten Engel Hall and the rest of campus. Asking VandeVere about his motivations in starting his simultaneous acapella projects "V7" (pronounced "Five Seven") and "R3sonate," he energetically responded:

"Ever since I got here, I realized how classically minded it was. I knew we needed more diversity to bring in students for [the Fine Arts] department, and so I thought this would be such a good approach because it's a middle-ground art form that, when perfected, is appreciated by all."

Stuck in the southwest corner of campus, the Fine Arts building known as Engel Hall is now known as either the oldest building on campus or the semi-creepy-looking infrastructure that looms over your walk to either a Union Bank ATM visit or a midnight Kwik Shop snack. Though it has a wealth of beautiful art in the manifestations of both visual and audio, one can find Engel's vintage vibe to be more of a "#FlashbackFriday" than anything else.

Knowing this, VandeVere specifically chose acapella ventures to serve as a bridge on campus. Sponsored by the Fine Arts department in every musical outing, the new trio R3sonate hopes to replicate the mild waves of success from defunct V7.

But could it be that this same general sense of "unawareness" that seems to cloud the Union College atmosphere about these exciting musical ventures, is caused by a general disconnect in knowledge of our fine arts? Be it the actual building known as Engel Hall, or the term itself?

These are questions that I pose for you all to think about, and questions I wish I came up with during my interview with VandeVere. It was during this interview, however, that VandeVere made a direct quote that I found both relevance and avoidance in.

The forthcoming article, "Breaking Up," serves as the conclusion to this essay series.

AJ is a senior studying communication.