“Is this real life?” asked freshman Audrey Huelsbeck upon opening her door late one night in January to find members of one of BC’s fantastically talented a cappella groups, the Acoustics, cheering her name.
Huelsbeck '16 was just named the newest member of the self-proclaimed “crazy co-ed a cappella group” following their spring semester auditions. With the group’s Spring Invitational – or as the members more affectionately call it, “Baby’s First Concert” – coming up this weekend, I chatted with Audrey to find out just how “crazy” life as an Acoustic can be (Spoiler alert: she uses the word “awesome” a lot).
Why do you love to sing?
I don’t know what else I’d do with my life. I just don’t even know who I’d be without it.
Why the Acoustics? What made you so drawn to them?
That’s a good question. It’s funny because it actually started over the summer. Before I came to BC, I was looking up a cappella groups to see what I was going to audition for on campus because I knew I wanted to do a cappella, and then I found the Acoustics. When I went to their website and looked at their set-list I was like, “Oh my god. This is the group I want to be in.”
The first time you auditioned you got a callback but didn’t make it, right?
After my first audition I was so excited to get the callback and then when I didn’t make it I was like, “Am I going to go back? Obviously they don’t want me.” But one of them came up to me in Mac one day – Nate Richardson ’13 – and he said, “You were so great! Please come back for our spring semester auditions!” The fact that he went out of his way to do that made me think, “I should be an Acoustic.” It made me feel wanted, and that was just all I could think about then.
Who are the other freshmen in the group?
Caroline Portu and Ben Seo. They’re so amazing. When they sing I’m just like, “Why am I in this group again?”
Has anyone in the group been like a mentor to you?
Honestly, everyone is so awesome. Everyone is just so nice and so welcoming. It just feels like I’ve been in this group forever.
Is there anything that you didn’t expect going into this group that surprised you?
I’m very pleasantly surprised by how awesome everyone has been with including me. I thought going in as the only new freshman that everyone was going to have inside jokes and I’d be like “Haha, so funny!...I don’t get it.” But everyone’s been so inclusive. On initiation night they said, “This is honestly a family,” and it really is.
Would you say you have any best friends in the group so far?
Everyone’s so great. I sing alto with Danielle [Parra, ’15], and she’s honestly the coolest person that I’ve ever met. She’s so awesome. I think I probably know her best because we’re always singing together.
Who would you say is the “class clown” of the group?
I mean, everyone is sometimes a little bit of a clown – it gets silly in rehearsals. I don’t know if I could even pick one person. Everyone’s crazy.
If you could pick any song to solo on, what would it be?
Any song ever? Wow, I don’t know. That’s such a big question! It would probably be something by Adele. She’s my girl. You just can’t go wrong with Adele.
What’s the set-list like for this weekend?
We’re debuting two new songs! One is a Macklemore medley – “Can’t Hold Us,” “Thrift Shop” and “Same Love.” And we’re doing “If I Were a Boy” by Beyoncé. That’s sung by Caroline [Portu, ’16] – she’s so amazing. I almost cried during rehearsal…I’m pretty sure someone did cry during rehearsal.
You can hear Audrey’s incredible vocal skills soloing on Adele’s “Rumor Has It” with her high school’s a cappella group, Soul’d Out.
Make sure to check out the Acoustics’ Spring Invitational – also featuring the Amherst College Zumbyes, the BC Dynamics and UConn’s CDN – Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Cushing 001!