While performing, all members of the on-campus a capella group Temple Ten must share the same breath.
“In a chamber group you don’t have someone in front of you saying, ‘And start.’ You have us all looking at each other, breathing at the same time and coming in at the same tempo,” said Julia Bokunewicz, a member and senior music education major. “We work on a lot of ensemble work, in terms of who is leading, who is going to start us.”
Temple Ten began performing last semester after the group held auditions during Spring 2016. The new a capella group was created so students could participate in a premiere chamber vocal ensemble, said Mitos Andaya Hart, the director of the ensemble and the associate director of choral activities.
Temple Ten stands apart from other groups because of its diverse repertoire of music, Andaya Hart said.
She said the group can perform classical music, jazz, pop, music from the Romantic era in the 1800s and pieces by Claudio Monteverdi from the Renaissance era.
“We can do music that is 500 years old or a couple years old, but it’s all unaccompanied [by instruments],” Andaya Hart said.
The group’s interest in performing different genres of music was evident during its performance honoring Martin Luther King Jr. at Mitten Hall earlier this month, where the members sang U2’s “MLK” and “Walk Together Children,” an African American spiritual.
Andaya Hart said the group’s goal is to build knowledge about performing multiple genres. The group meets once a week to rehearse for at least two hours.
“Our rehearsal really focuses on fine detail,” Andaya Hart said. “We work on vowel modification, listening for tuning, [which] is called intonation and balance.”
Bokunewicz said the group’s rehearsal consists of members trying to “put the meaning of the text on their faces,” since they don’t dance or make instrumental sounds with their voices.
“Your job as a performer is to convey meaning of your performance through voice, eyes and energy,” said Vrushabh Doshi, a Temple Ten member and junior film and media arts major. “Whoever is listening to you perform, it’s your job to make them feel the exact same way as the person who wrote that piece.”
Last semester, Temple Ten performed at open houses, audition days for the Boyer College of Music and Dance and at an event for the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
This semester, the a capella group will continue to perform at on-campus events like Temple Vocal Arts’ VoCollage and the 6th Annual Women Veterans Forum. The members will also perform for local high school ensembles.
The group members hope they aren’t limited to on-campus events, and can perform in the Philadelphia area as well, Doshi said.
“We need to find gigs around Philadelphia to get experience in performing in different areas,” Doshi said.
Giving an audience a wonderful musical experience is very important for the group, Andaya Hart said.
“Our performance should transport them to a place that is appropriate to the piece,” she added.
Lillian Lema can be reached at email@example.com.