The sound of 25 blending voices can be heard pouring from Lanigan Hall at Oswego State every Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday.
Vocal Effect, a show choir consisting of students from all majors, performs anywhere between three and six times per semester at a variety of events, including Homecoming Tailgate, Stride to SAVE Lives 5K and a concert during Family and Friends Weekend.
“We want to see people interact with us when we are singing and we want to make sure they are smiling after the performances,” said president and dance coordinator, Dionisio Burgos Jr. “For the Family and Friends concert, everybody was so happy. They even came up to me and random students that they are not even related to, saying, ‘Thank you so much.’”
The group performed in front of family members, friends and the Oswego community as a whole ensemble and in smaller groups during Family and Friends weekend on Oct. 21. The energy emanating from the group showed the result of the minimum eight hours of rehearsal per week and good relationships amid the members.
“I don’t think we have a huge impact when people hear our name, but when we perform, I feel as though we do,” said Cassandra Knight, a member and senior adviser of Vocal Effect.
Every year, the show choir performs a memorial service at the Stride to SAVE Lives 5K walk and run, organized by the CNY charter of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education. During the event, the group typically sings two numbers, one during the opening and one before the leaders of SAVE CNY read off the submitted names of loved ones lost to suicide.
“They are one of my favorite parts of the event. Their sound is amazing, and though emotions are high, it’s comforting to hear their song selections,” said Jaime Leszczynski, head of SAVE CNY. “I love them. Every year, I look forward to hearing them. I never know what songs they are going to sing until they sing, and it’s always the perfect choice.”
Although Burgos oversees the group, there are five committees and an e-board, which is a band of directors. Burgos said the committees enable every member to have a voice in the group’s decisions. The e-board includes a president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, publicist and coordinators.
“The leadership over my time with the group has had its pros and cons, but now it’s better than ever, and I’m really proud of my board and the accomplishments we made as a group,” Knight said.
The group does not focus solely on singing and dancing, they also work on bettering their friendships outside of rehearsal. Over the duration they work together, the members become closer and often make each other feel better after they have a bad day, according to Burgos. He also said even if he has had a bad day, he always leaves rehearsal more energetic and looks forward to the next opportunity to practice with the Vocal Effect members.
“I want people to come out to our shows and see how happy we are on stage, and if you’re interested in being part of something new, something really fun, and want to make awesome friends, audition. It’s not that scary at all,” Burgos said.
Photo: Kassadee Paulo | The Oswegonian