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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Vocal Ease ‘fallin’ into success

    UA students Lauren Freed, left, Alison Davis, Tamara Bill (alumna), Kelly Montoya, Julia Higgins (alumna), Jennifer Blodgett and Aubrey Arrington rehearse at the Marriott at Starr Pass last night.
    UA students Lauren Freed, left, Alison Davis, Tamara Bill (alumna), Kelly Montoya, Julia Higgins (alumna), Jennifer Blodgett and Aubrey Arrington rehearse at the Marriott at Starr Pass last night.

    As the voice of Ali Davis, a music education sophomore, belts out the lyrics to “”I Believe in a Thing Called Love,”” by smarmy rockers The Darkness, it’s almost like a British invasion in Tucson.

    But The Darkness is nowhere to be found. Instead it’s seven women, part of a UA group called “”Vocal Ease,”” an all-female a cappella group that sings a variety of music genres – from pop to country to hip-hop.

    The ladies will sing their hearts out this weekend as they compete for a chance to go to the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella semi-finals in March.

    The group will be traveling to the University of Southern California on Saturday to compete in the NCCA quarterfinals and hopes to make it to the semifinals at Stanford University next month.

    This year, the ladies will be

    performing original arrangements of “”I Believe in a Thing Called Love”” by The Darkness, “”Free Fallin”” by Tom Petty and “”Motown Philly”” by Boyz II Men, said Julia Higgins, a member of Vocal Ease and a UA alumna who graduated in 2004.

    Each member’s participation is vital to the group’s success, Higgins said.

    “”Every single person in the group is really important because there’s only seven of us, and most of the time we are all doing something different in each song,”” Higgins said. “”The individual musicianship needs to be really high.””

    Amid busy college schedules, the group tries to meet twice a week, which becomes a release for the ladies.

    “”At least twice a week we are going to get together, have fun and sing songs we all like,”” said Tamara Bill, a biology major who graduated in December 2004.

    The group is well on their way to success, with a full-length CD released in January 2005 that includes 13 songs recorded by Vocal Ease members in 2004, Higgins said.

    Last week, Vocal Ease also released an EP with songs that will be performed at the competition this weekend along with other arrangements.

    Beside performing at various events around Tucson, like the Fourth Avenue street fair, the group has found a niche performing at a venue on the east side of town called “”Studio Connections,”” where they have quite a following, members said.

    Vocal Ease will have two concerts on campus this semester with the UA Vocal Jazz Ensemble, the “”HepCats.”” The concerts will be held in Crowder Hall at 7:30 p.m. on Mar. 8 and Apr. 2.

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