Whether at the Coffee House or the Abbot Cabaret, Azure commands the stage in black T-shirts and jeans, using only the harmony of their voices to create strong melodies that resound with the audience long after the performance is finished.
Azure, the all-female a cappella group, performs different arrangements of popular songs at various events across campus. Azure members pride themselves on their good pitch and confident and courageous attitudes.
“Having a good voice is important [for Azure], that’s definitely number one,” said Caroline Sambuco ’14, Co-Head of Azure. “But, we’re also looking for stage presence, because you have to go and sing in front of three hundred to a thousand people. Not being afraid, and being confident on stage, is a very important skill.”
A model for group success, Azure members take pride in being a tight knit, supportive group, in which all members have a say in major decisions. When deciding on a song to perform, the Co-Heads will often ask the group members if they want to perform any specific songs and take a vote amongst the group if necessary.
“My favorite part of Azure is the sense of sisterhood that we have within the group. I get to see these lovely young ladies twice a week for hours at a time, so it is definitely a bonding experience. As I have gotten to know them over the years, I’ve seen them grow and singers and as people. The girls are truly a second family for me,” said Nya Hughes, a Co-Head of Azure.
“I think we have done a great job this year of listening more to each other when we sing, which renders the overall song much more beautiful and put together,” added Julia Zell, a Co-Head of Azure.
All-female a cappella can be difficult to do well, as some songs demand lower notes than the female range is capable of.
“I think it’s really unique because its an all girls a cappella group, and just being able to have the all girls space to create music is great,” said Sambuco. “I think its important to keep making music, and doing it without an instrument, that’s very much what singing is – you are your own instrument.”
Outside of rehearsal, it is not uncommon to find Azure members eating with, talking with and having fun with each other. Sambuco stressed the emphasis on fun and group friendship in and out of rehearsal. The members are comfortable and open with each other, which allows for music to come easily when rehearsing and performing.
“The day we finished our biggest song of the year, we had tried to incorporate choreography for the first time. Finally after learning the whole thing (it took us a couple of months) the girls performed it while I recorded it on my phone. They all had the biggest smiles on their faces and I could just tell how proud there were of what they had accomplished and that was an absolutely wonderful feeling,” said Zell in an email to The Phillipian.
“My favorite memory so far was when Julia, Caroline, and I threw the girls a surprise party at the end of the spring term. We had been working hard in rehearsal the past few weeks, so instead of having regular rehearsal on Sunday, the girls walked into the Adams Hall common room only to find it equipped with pizza, soda, and a karaoke machine. It warmed my heart to see them laughing and singing “Let it Go” in unison at the top of their lungs,” said Hughes.